It has been recently announced that Luiz Carlos Trabuco, current CEO of Brazilian banking giant Bradesco, will be getting another promotion. This time, he will be replacing the outgoing chairman of the board, Lazaro Brandao, as the head of the board of directors. The news comes amid announcements that Brandao himself will be permanently retiring from all roles with the bank, finally drawing to a close his nearly 75 year career with the bank.
Trabuco has rode the Bradesco success story all the way to the top
Perhaps no one in the bank’s history, other than Brandao himself, has done more to capitalize on the bank’s growth throughout their own personal career than Luiz Carlos Trabuco. But the inveterate banker, who has spent the entirety of his almost 50-year career with the bank, has also done a great deal to shape the firm’s success. The relationship between Trabuco and his employer has been, to be sure, a synergistic one.
Trabuco first came to the firm in 1969, at the age of just 18. He was fresh out of high school and had aspirations to attend college, but he did not have the money to pay for classes. After being hired on as a bank teller, the lowest position at the company, he quickly proved himself to be a capable and reliable employee, with a penchant for quickly learning new tasks.
Throughout the 1970s, he slowly rose through the ranks, first becoming a shift manager, then a branch manager, then a regional manager. Throughout this period, he was able to put himself through night school at one of Sao Paulo’s most prestigious universities, even as he was often working up to 60 hours per week. By the end of the 1970s, he had obtained a bachelor’s degree in business administration as well as a master’s degree in social psychology.
By the early 1980s, Trabuco had positioned himself as one of the most qualified employees of the bank. He was now in a position to get promoted to his first executive role, an offer that came in 1984.
Trabuco was tapped to head up the company’s PR and marketing department. There, he quickly began modernizing the way that the bank approached public relations, involving the bank in sponsoring local charity causes and forging strong relationships with local media personalities. This proved to be a success. By 1988, the bank’s public image was as good as it had ever been, and the recruitment of new customers was hitting peak levels.
In 1992, Trabuco was again promoted. This time he was tapped to head the company’s financial planning division. The struggling unit had been stagnating for years under previous management. Trabuco immediately moved to update the unit’s business model. He created a tiered banking system called Bradesco Prime. This targeted the bank’s most valuable clients with perks such as high-end complimentaries and separate, luxury facilities. Clients who had above a certain threshold on deposit with the bank were granted a 24/7 personal banker.
This strategy of going after the country’s highest net worth clients proved to be sagacious. Over the course of Trabuco’s tenure, the financial planning division went from being just a tiny fraction of the bank’s overall profits to accounting for almost a third. Trabuco was again slated to move up.
He repeated these successes as head of the insurance division and, ultimately, as the CEO of the company, where he was able to complete the largest acquisition in the history of Brazil.
Now, Trabuco will move up to the chairmanship. Under his leadership, it’s a good bet that the bank’s long track record of success will continue into the future.