When the chairman of one of the largest banking institutions in Brazil decided that he was going to finally hang up the towel and walk away from the financial industry for good, many of Grupo Bradesco’s shareholders were nervous. They had experienced some of the best times of any corporation in Brazilian history under his watch, watching their stock holdings accelerate from being worth less than a few cents per share all the way to being worth well over $20. This period of expansion has been a stunning testament to the business acumen and leadership capacity of Lazaro Brandao, one of the most legendary figures in all of Latin American finance.
But as Lazaro Brandao neared the age of 94, he decided that he wanted to spend the rest of his days among his family and enjoying the fruits of his labors. This left a problem, however. He would need to find an adequate replacement. And this was no easy task. The chairman of the largest bank in Brazil had been serving in that position for more than 30 years, and he had served, in total, at the bank, in one capacity or another, for more than 75 years, making him not only the longest-serving employee in the bank’s history but quite possibly the longest-serving employee in the history of all of Brazilian finance.
However, there was one man who was ready to fill his shoes. Luiz Carlos Trabuco, who was serving that as the bank’s CEO, had been with the firm for more than 45 years. He had proven himself to be one of the most capable managers in the bank’s history, bringing in billions of dollars in new deposits and helping the bank grow from a relatively obscure regional interest into one of the most powerful financial institutions in history of Latin America.
Although many investors were understandably nervous about the dislocation of one of the most legendary figures that the bank had ever seen from the chairmanship, Luiz Carlos Trabuco quickly reassured them with his steady hand and sagacious vision. After taking over the chairmanship late last year, Luiz Carlos Trabuco has continued to expand the bank’s operations, leading the firm to the position of being the undisputed banking champion throughout Brazil. With more than 5,000 branches and over $400 billion under active management, today, Bradesco is one of the most powerful financial institutions that the country has ever seen. Luiz Carlos Trabuco has made it all happen.