Major changes are coming to the upper management of Grupo Bradesco, the largest financial conglomerate in Brazil. It has recently been announced that Lazaro Brandao, one of the oldest currently serving chairpersons in the world, will be stepping down from the bank’s board of directors. In his place, Luiz Carlos Trabuco, another longtime employee of the company, will be installed.
Trabuco has been with the bank for nearly 50 years. In that time, he has risen from bank teller, the lowest position in the firm, to become its CEO. He will have large shoes to fill, however. Brandao has been chairman for the last 27 years and has been in an executive role with the bank since 1981. He has led the bank through its period of historic growth, between 1990 and 2009, when the company’s stock price increased by a factor of more than 300 times. It is this incredible track record that has endeared Brandao to many stakeholders in the company in ways that are normally reserved for founding members of the most successful firms. In many real ways, Brandao commands the same level of respect from shareholders and employees as Sam Walton or Warren Buffett get from their underlings, a mark of just how significant Brandao’s tenure has widely been perceived to have been for the bank.
A great actor exits the theater
Brandao first came to work at Bradesco in the bank’s first full year of operations. It was 1943, and Brandao was just 16 years old. Despite not having any formal education beyond the 10th grade, Brandao showed remarkable intelligence and work ethic. He slowly began working his way up through the company ranks, becoming a manager by the early 1950s.
Throughout the crucial years of the 60s and 70s, when Bradesco began to expand through both organic growth and acquisitions, Brandao continued ascending the corporate ladder, exactly at the time the bank itself was turning from a one-branch local concern into a major regional player. In 1981, Brandao was appointed CEO of the bank, marking the beginning of an executive career that would run, uninterrupted, for more than 36 years.
Between 1990 and 1999, Brandao simultaneously occupied the position of both CEO and chairman of the board of directors, the only time in the history of the company that one person has taken on both roles for anything longer than a trivial amount of time. It was throughout the 1990s and 2000s that Bradesco rose to the level of international prominence, becoming the most powerful financial institution in Brazil and one of the main players in Latin America.
During this time, the bank’s share price increased by a whopping 300 times, lending Brandao an aura of almost infallibility among shareholders. This high degree of veneration continues today, with many shareholders expressing extreme angst over his departure according to valor.com.br. But Brandao, himself, has done much to counter these anxious feelings, stating explicitly that he believes that Trabuco is the best man for the job, anywhere on Earth.
For his part, Trabuco has been an instrumental figure in the rise of the bank from small regional concern to major international institution. He was able to almost personally increase the amount of money on deposit through the bank’s retail operations by aggressively pursuing the high-net-worth-client market. This increased the bank’s deposits by billions of dollars and enabled it to radically expand the number of loans that it was able to underwrite.
As Trabuco takes over the chairmanship, it is likely that he will simply continue following the same formula that has led him and his bank to so much success.
Search more about Luiz Carlos Trabuco: http://www1.folha.uol.com.br/mercado/2017/10/1926427-sucessao-no-bradesco-vira-alvo-de-aposta.shtml