Bradesco is currently Brazil’s number-one or number-two bank, depending on how one measures. But its CEO, Luiz Carlos Trabuco, is widely regarded as the country’s foremost banker. With nearly 50 years in the industry, Trabuco has been with his firm since the age of 18. He has worked in almost every one of the company’s various business lines, giving him a depth of expertise that few have achieved. And he has proven himself, time and again, as an effective leader and capable strategist, massively growing every unit that he has been handed in an executive role.
But Trabuco’s time at the company’s top slot has been somewhat of a disappointment. After taking over from his predecessor, Mario Cypriano, Trabuco was unable to continue any growth or even to retain the business’ position. On his watch, Itau and Unibanco, two of the largest banks in Brazil, merged, knocking Bradesco from its spot as the undisputed top bank in the country. Many observers blamed Trabuco for his inability to acquire one of the two companies involved. But others said that it was unlikely such a deal ever would have gone through, given Trabuco’s financials at the time.
Still, the stock price continued to decline under Trabuco’s leadership, eventually falling to just 50 percent of its 2009 high. Some interpreted this as weak leadership on the part of Trabuco. But many experts pointed out that Trabuco had inherited an institution in a radically transformed industry, with a difficult macroeconomic outlook in a country still reeling from the effects of the global financial crisis of 2008. Additionally, the opportunities for viable acquisitions had largely dried up amid the rapidly consolidating banking industry of the 2000s. By the time Trabuco had been CEO for just a year, the country was largely dominated by just two banks, Bradesco and Itau Unibanco.
Read more on Bloomberg.com
All this boded poorly for Trabuco’s prospects as CEO and president. And none were any fault of his own. In fact, the inveterate banker, who flies coach class and drives a late model car, despite making up to $12 million per year, was working as hard as ever. Those who know him say that Trabuco works up to 12-hour days on a regular basis, foregoing his own personal life in service of the company he leads. He has even described himself as being somewhat of a workaholic.
But it has been precisely this iron-clad work ethic that has allowed Trabuco to succeed to such a remarkable degree in his past leadership roles. Those familiar with his accomplishments say that, even though the performance of the company during his first six years was less than stellar, it would be a mistake to count him out, particularly given the most important event of his tenure as CEO – the acquisition of HSBC Brazil.
Throughout the early part of 2015, rumors began flying around the Brazilian banking industry that HSBC, the world’s second largest banking conglomerate, was tiring of its ever loss-producing Brazilian assets. It had had enough with the ultra-competitive Brazilian market and was looking to throw in the towel. Trabuco immediately began extending feelers on the deal, contacting the HSBC brass and expressing serious interest.
By the end of 2015, the deal was set to close. Bradesco was to buy HSBC Brazil for $5.2 in an all-cash deal. This represented the largest acquisition in Brazilian history, drawing much attention to Trabuco and Bradesco. But it also represented a real strategic coup for Trabuco, who had now positioned his firm for a major dogfight with rival Itau Unibanco for supremacy over the Brazilian banking market.
How this will play out is a question only time can answer. But Trabuco’s record indicates Brazilian banking is in for some interesting times.
Search more about Luiz carlos Trabuco Cappi: https://banco.bradesco/html/prime/sobre/nossa-historia.shtm