For decades now, Banco Bradesco has consistently featured among the top banks in Brazil. Many banks in the industry have attempted to replicate Bradesco’s success but have all failed. In fact, it took a merger between Unibanco and Banco Itau, forming Itau Unibanco, to wrestle industry dominance away from Bradesco in the private bank sub-sector.
Unsurprisingly, many analysts and observers in the Brazilian banking industry have put Bradesco’s consistent success to effective leadership succession. Over the course of the bank’s seven-year history, it has only had four presidents. With so few yet effective leaders guiding the bank, Bradesco has not had any disruptions to its business as other banks in the country do during their succession cycles that occur every few years. The bank’s current president Luiz Carlos Trabuco has held the position for the shortest time but has arguably had the greatest impact.
Luiz Carlos Trabuco’s story at Banco Bradesco started in 1969. Even before that, however, the two shared a common history with Luiz Carlos Trabuco being born in Marilia, the city in which the bank was formed. At the time of joining the bank, Luiz Carlos Trabuco was barely a man at the age of 18 and first worked as a clerk at the bank’s Marilia branch. His unquestionable talent was soon noticed by his superiors in he was in 1991 promoted to work in the bank’s head office located in Osasco, Sao Paulo. Year and offers came and went but Luiz Carlos Trabuco stuck with Bradesco, and he was in 1984 promoted to the position of marketing director. 14 years later, he was again promoted to the position of managing director executive. He had been with the bank for more than three decades at this point, and some even touted him to be selected as the bank’s president ahead of his eventual predecessor, Marcio Cypriano. He, however, did still receive a promotion as he was named the executive vice president to Bradesco Seguros, the insurance company under the Bradesco group.
In 2003, four years after being named the executive vice president, Luiz Carlos Trabuco was appointed the president to Bradesco Seguros. The mark he left at the insurance company was so big that to say he was a success would be an understatement. While Bradesco Seguros occupied a fairly healthy position in the market when he took over, he in six short years managed to cement its number one spot in the industry by growing its market share by more than two percentage points. Additionally, he managed to grow and consistently maintain the insurer’s return on equity at above 27 percent over the course of his six-year presidency.
With Marcio Cypriano hitting the mandatory retirement age of 65 in 2009, Bradesco’s board made the obvious decision and decided to appoint Luiz Carlos Trabuco to head up the financial institution. Having been a long-time servant at the bank, he did not need to find his feet and quickly set about advancing the aggressive expansion strategy initiated by Cypriano. While it did not help that there was a global financial crisis coupled with the completion of the Unibanco-Banco Itau merger at the time of his appointment, Luiz Carlos Trabuco managed to steady and grow Bradesco. Additionally, with the 2015 acquisition of HSBC Brazil in multi-billion dollar dealt it became clear that Bradesco was well on its way to reclaiming the number one spot in the market from Itau Unibanco. It is safe to say that Bradesco would not have been where it is today if not for Luiz Carlos Trabuco.