The departure of long-time chairman of Grupo Bradesco, Lazaro Brandao, has set of a cascade of vacancies within the bank. Brandao has already named Luiz Carlos Trabuco, the firm’s current CEO, as his successor in the position of chairman. That leaves the post of CEO up for grabs, as Trabuco has ensured stakeholders that he will not permanently occupy both the spots of CEO and chairman.
Visionary in chief Brandao will leave, can anyone take his place?
Even as Brandao, a 75-year employee of Bradesco, bows out for the last time, he leaves serious questions in his wake. The 91 year old banker, who has served in various top executive roles with the bank since 1981, is leaving shoes that some say are simply too large to be adequately filled. It is for this reason that, even as the current chairman approached his 92nd year, there are many shareholders who are being made extremely nervous by his departure.
Brandao himself has been with the bank since 1943. In that year, the first full year the bank was in operation, a 16 year old Brandao was hired on as a bank teller at the firm’s only branch, in the city of Marilia. Over the next 75 years, he rose quickly through the ranks, eventually reaching the executive suite in the early 80s. In 1990, Brandao also took on the role of chairman of the board. He was concurrently both the chairman and CEO of the firm from 1990 to 1999, the only time in the company’s history in which both positions have been held by the same man.
But Brandao really started earning his reputation from the early 90s on. It was over this period that he oversaw a more than 300-fold rise in the stock price, one of the largest in recent Brazilian business history. He also was instrumental in the early adoption of internet banking platforms and the rapid growth that the bank underwent throughout the 90s and 2000s.
For someone so inextricably linked to the bank’s most astonishing successes, it’s no wonder that so many are feeling uncertainty as the venerable banker finally retires for good.
Who will replace Trabuco?
Trabuco himself has a resume that is nearly as impressive of that of his boss. First coming to work for the company in 1969, at the age of just 18, Trabuco, like Brandao, is a lifelong Bradesco employee. But Trabuco had the misfortune of overseeing a time of considerable tumult in the company’s history.
Throughout the 2010s, Trabuco was at the helm, as the stock price slid more than 80 percent from its 2009 highs. This downward spiral was only recovered from at the last minute, when, in 2015, Trabuco was able to pull off the acquisition of the century. In a $5.2 billion, all cash deal, he was able to acquire HSBC Brazil, in its entirety. The transaction was the largest in Brazilian history and instantly rocketed Bradesco back to the top spot in the Brazilian banking industry across a wide variety of measures.
But Trabuco’s early teething problems as CEO have left a bitter taste in the mouths of some shareholders, who see him as a potentially risky candidate for the position of chairman.
What’s more, there is great uncertainty as to who will replace Trabuco in the role of CEO. Many have named Mauricio Minas, the 57-year-old chief information technology officer as the most likely candidate to replace Trabuco.
Whoever ultimately prevails as CEO, it is likely that the same strategy and vision that has proved so lucrative for the bank over its 75 year history will remain the centerpiece of its vision for the near term future.
Search more about Luiz Carlos Trabuco: https://www.istoedinheiro.com.br/o-bradesco-de-brandao-trabuco/