Luiz Carlos Trabuco took the helm of Bradesco, one of Brazil’s largest banks, in 2009. Although Bradesco had been the market leader for years, the company had lost its footing and fallen behind Itau, another major player in Brazilian retail banking. Faced with a board of directors that was eager to move back into first place, Trabuco made a controversial decision. Luiz Carlos Trabuco decided that it made more sense to focus on long-term strategies to retake the lead rather than short-term plans. As part of his plan to stimulate organic growth in the long-run, Trabuco slashed fees and unveiled plans to open over 200 new branches across the country.
However, the new CEO has not relied exclusively on organic growth to even the score with Itau. With the blessings of chairman of the board and former company president Lázaro Brandão, Trabuco acquired the Brazilian subsidiary of Hong Kong-based HSBC in a multi-billion dollar deal. The purchase of HSBC boosted Bradesco’s market share. In fact, Trabuco’s new Bradesco was now the Brazilian leader in numbers of branch locations and account holders and closing in, in terms of deposits and assets. Brazilian regulators signed off on the deal in the first quarter of 2016. According to Trabuco, the acquisition of HSBC shaved six year’s off of the time it would have taken to achieve the same level of growth naturally.
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Luiz Carlos Trabuco joined Bradesco shortly after graduating from the University of Sao Paulo, eventually becoming President of Bradesco’s insurance division in 2003. One of the first changes he made as president was the creation of a Bradesco University in order to foster greater innovation in the company. He was widely perceived as being a close fit with the values and culture of the bank, having started as a clerk and worked his way up the ranks.
Trabuco’s appointment as president was surprising to many, as Bradesco had somewhat of a tradition of going with the dark horse candidate when choosing a new CEO. When Lázaro Brandão took over from the bank’s founder, Amador Aguiar, the new president was relatively unknown within the company. Likewise, Luiz Carlos Trabuco’s predecessor, Márcio Cypriano, was another underdog in the run for the top spot at the company. However, this trend was broken when Trabuco was chosen since he was widely regarded as a likely successor, having been groomed for the job from the start by Cypriano himself.
The purchase of HSBC has been a boon to Bradesco. Market observers noted that Brandão needed to acquire a smaller bank in order to catch up to Itau, but there were no real options available when he was promoted in 2009 when the company was R$150 behind its rival in assets. In spite of the fact that he has been successful in narrowing the competition’s lead, Luiz Carlos Trabuco has his work cut out for him. Getting back on top will require patience and the organic growth strategies that he emphasized when he became president of Bradesco.
Find more about Luiz Carlos Trabuco: http://www1.folha.uol.com.br/mercado/2015/08/1666207-para-presidente-do-bradesco-crise-e-grave-e-solucao-exige-grandeza.shtml