Brazil is finally coming out of a three-year recession that crippled the country in several ways. The Brazilian banks are lending money again, and the banks are making executive changes to get up with the banking startups that eating into their customer base. One of those changes is the retirement of Bradesco’s Chairman of the Board, Lázaro de Mello Brandão. Brandão is the oldest banker in Brazil and some bankers say he’s one of the oldest bankers in the world. Lázaro de Mello Brandão was around when Bradesco was a small Sao Paulo bank that helped farmers make ends meet in 1943. Luis Carlos Trabuco the CEO of Bradesco is taking over as Chairman and that move made shareholders happy. Luis is one of the popular and knowledgeable bankers in Brazil.
Brandão hired Trabuco after Luis finished his psychology graduate courses in the late 1960s. Luis earned a degree in philosophy from the University of Sao Paulo so he didn’t have the finance or accounting background most banks require. But there was something about Trabuco that made Brandão forget about those unwritten banking rules so he put Luis in Bradesco training program. Thanks to his strong reasoning skills and his agreeable personality Luis rose through the banking ranks as the bank began to grow in cities across the country.
Luis went from one management job to another in the Bradesco organization, and his performance in all of those positions helped the bank hit its profit projections year after year. When Brandão appointed him the president of the Bank’s insurance division, Luis became a banking superstar thanks to the profit he generated from selling insurance policies to businesses as well as to private individuals. Mr. Brandão and the Board of Directors knew Luis was the man who could take the bank to the next level at the turn of the 21st century. So without a lot of fanfare, Luis moved into the Brandão’s presidential office and Brandão became the chairman of the bank.
Luis faced several challenges when he became president. But Luis faced those challenges head-on. He built an experienced and capable executive team and he decided to acquire more banks as bank profits continued to break previous profit numbers. One of the best acquisitions Trabuco made was putting HSBC’s Brazilian operation under the Bradesco umbrella in 2015. Today Bradesco has more than 5,000 bank branches and more than 12,000 ATM locations in Brail. Plus, the bank has a strong international presence thanks to Trabuco’s leadership.