Bradesco, one of the largest private banks in Brazil, counts two of the most influential people in Brazilian finance among its ranks. But one of them, Lazaro Brandao, has finally decided to end his banking career. After coming on board with the bank all the way back in 1943, Brandao has enjoyed one of the longest and most influential careers of anyone in Brazilian finance.
But his accomplishments can hardly outshine those of his underling. Luiz Carlos Trabuco, the 67-year-old current CEO of Bradesco, has been with the firm since 1969. Over that time span, he has done as much as anyone else, including Brandao himself, to ensure the future success of his firm.
Both Trabuco and Brandao share remarkably similar stories. Both came directly to work for the bank after high school, neither with any formal education beyond secondary. And both were able to work their way up through the ranks of the firm through hard work and determination. Brandao is the only person in the bank’s history to simultaneously service as both chairman and CEO for anything longer than a trivial period. Between 1990 and 1999, he held both positions, a period in which he oversaw an increase in the bank’s market capitalization by over 100 times.
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But Brandao cannot take all of the credit for the spectacular growth that Bradesco underwent throughout the 80s, 90s and 2000s. Behind the scenes, Trabuco was acting as a junior executive in many different departments. Having put himself through school in the 1970s, even as he worked up to 60 hours per week, Trabuco was able to eventually get a bachelor’s degree in business administration as well as a master’s degree in social psychology.
In addition to this, he became an avid student of the North American banking model, studying how the most successful American financial institutions did things according to istoedinheiro.com.br. By the time he took over the bank’s financial planning division, in 1992, Trabuco was well-qualified to begin making some of the most impactful and long-lasting changes that the bank has ever experienced.
As head of the bank’s struggling financial planning unit, a position that he assumed in 1992, Trabuco began moving the bank to a value-based approach to customer service. Whereas before, the bank had adopted a one-size-fits-all model, Trabuco took a cue from the most successful American investment houses, giving lavish, top-tier service to the bank’s most valuable clients and creating a sort of coach-class banking product for the rank and file.
With new luxurious amenities for the bank’s high-net-worth clients and 24/7 personal bankers, some of the wealthiest Brazilians began flocking to Bradesco. The influx of new deposits, tens of millions of dollars worth, created a vast expansion in the bank’s balance sheets. This, in turn, allowed the firm to begin underwriting far more loans than had previously been possible. This expansion was one of the key factors in the massive growth of the bank throughout the decade of the 90s. And it was almost the sole product of Trabuco’s visionary leadership.
Today, as Trabuco takes over at the position of chairman, it is worth remembering this episode in the bank’s history as well as others, such as Trabuco’s taking over the insurance division when it was a mediocre department and turning it into the single largest underwriter of retail insurance policies in the country. Trabuco’s record is one of quiet, yet effective, performance, getting things done behind the scenes and setting up the bank for all of its later successes.
Under his leadership, Bradesco should have no trouble confidently marching towards a lucrative future.