Luiz Carlos Trabuco will replace Lazaro Brandao as chairman of the board
Big changes are heading for the C-suite at Bradesco. The bank, the largest private financial institution in the country of Brazil, has announced that there will be a major shakeup in its upper-level management. Luiz Carlos Trabuco, the bank’s current CEO, will be replacing the long-serving chairman Lazaro Brandao. The changes will also lead to the need for Trabuco to appoint his own replacement, a process that is slated to be complete by March of this year.
Trabuco has been with the bank for nearly 50 years. Over that time, he has distinguished himself as one of the firm’s most valuable employees, making sweeping changes in a number of business units under his command. His departure from the post of CEO has not been viewed by all of the company’s stakeholders with equal enthusiasm, however. As CEO, Trabuco has had a rocky but ultimately productive tenure, completing the largest acquisition in Brazilian history with the purchase of HSBC Brazil and all its assets for $5.2 billion in cash. The transaction garnered Trabuco the 2015 Isto E Dinheiro Entrepreneur of the Year Award, bringing him national attention and plaudits in the business press.
But as good as Trabuco’s track record has been, some investors are nervous about the departure of the bank’s patriarchal chairman, Lazaro Brandao. At 92 years old, Brandao is one of the oldest currently serving chairpersons in the world. Even as he rapidly approaches his 93rd birthday, many stakeholders in the company are displeased to see the exit of the man who led Bradesco from a small regional concern into a major hegemon on the Latin American banking scene. Trabuco will have large shoes to fill indeed.
In fact, so productive has the bank been on Brandao’s executive watch that its share price has increased by a factor of more than 300 times over the last 27 years, the whole time with Brandao at the helm of the board of directors. This not only represents the period of most fantastic growth for the bank, but it also may mark the single most precipitous rise of the fortunes of any company in Brazilian history.
However, Brandao is humble about his own role in the incredible ascent of the firm under his charge. He is careful to point out the immensely important role that Trabuco himself has played in the bank’s good fortunes, and he has repeatedly stated that there is no one more qualified on the planet to take over the reins that he will leave behind.
Trabuco has, himself, become somewhat of a legend within the bank’s circles. He was first appointed to an executive role all the way back in 1984, shortly after Brandao had been appointed CEO. Over the course of his career as a junior-level executive, Trabuco was able to produce a string of breakthrough innovations that were a material component of the bank’s rise into the stratosphere of Brazilian finance.
It was Trabuco who first started instituting programs that allowed the bank to capture a large part of the newly formed high-net-worth stratum of clients throughout the country. This initiative, alone, was so successful that it resulted in the bank’s balance sheets swelling by tens of billions of dollars. The increase in funds on deposit enabled the bank to begin a flurry of loan underwriting, most of which was concentrated in the commercial real estate sector of the country.
This was an instrumental part of the bank’s explosive growth. As the real estate market throughout the country took off, so did the bank’s share price.
As Trabuco takes the reins, Bradesco is being placed in good hands.