Brazil is home to more people than all countries in the world except four: China, India, the United States, and Indonesia. Similarly, their financial markets are highly competitive, having a high volume of customers to serve. Banco Bradesco is the second-largest privately-owned bank in Brazil, behind only Itau Unibanco, a bank that took hold of the position of the largest within its home country’s borders in 2008 with a merger between Banco Itau and Unibanco.
Banco Bradesco is home to Luiz Carlos Trabuco, the current President of the organization, having worked for the financial institution every year since 1969. He earned his bid for the role of President in 2009, after working in the bank’s insurance and pension divisions in the preceding decade, among a plethora of other positions throughout his entire now-48-year career with Bradesco.
Luiz Carlos Trabuco was born in 1951 in Marilia, Sao Paulo, just eight years after Banco Bradesco was created by Amador Aguiar in the same city. He went to college in metropolitan Sao Paulo after graduating from secondary school ahead of schedule, promptly earning a degree in Philosophy from the University of Sao Paulo’s Faculty of Human Sciences, Letters, and Philosophy. Immediately following the completion of his bachelor’s degree in Philosophy, he found himself earning a postgraduate degree in Socio-Psychology from another school in Sao Paulo. Luiz Carlos Trabuco then went back to his hometown of Marilia, finding a position as a bank teller at none other than Banco Bradesco, assuming his entry-level post in 1969.
In 2006 and 2007, he was the sole winner of the Insurance Personality of the Year award, given to him by Sincor-SP, an organization that mandates the private insurance industry in Brazil. He was named one of the 40 most influential Brazilians in 2015, the year after earning the recognition of one of the most important CEOs in Brazil from Forbes. Mr. Trabuco has won a number of other awards and accolades throughout his many years at Bradesco, though they didn’t start rolling in until he assumed an executory position at the bank’s pension, and later insurance, subsidiary.
Luiz Carlos Trabuco is arguably best known for his overtaking of HSBC Holdings’ banks in Brazil in 2015.
HSBC’s Brazilian operations had been declining significantly for some years prior to November of 2014, when Luiz Carlos Trabuco first got the idea of purchasing HSBC’s assets. Despite going downhill, the potential for taking control of them and turning their performance around was more than probable, as HSBC Holdings’ London-based executives were too far detached from what was going on in Brazil to effectively control its branches. Mr. Trabuco was aware of this from the time he first laid eyes on the potential transaction.
Further, because Itau Unibanco had taken control of the number-one spot in Brazil less than a decade ago, Mr. Trabuco was equally aware of the possibility of that organization absorbing HSBC. Rather than staying out of the potential purchase, Luiz Carlos Trabuco decided to lead Bradesco into acquiring the Brazilian banking assets of HSBC in early 2015. Another bank could have bought up HSBC, as well, which could have very well ousted Bradesco as the second-largest, if not shorten the gap between Bradesco and those eating its proverbial dust.
Bradesco benefited from the equivalent of six years of organic growth. While Luiz Carlos Trabuco has unarguably been atop his organic growth game, the transaction certainly helped solidify Bradesco’s spot as one of the largest, most-recognizable banks in the entirety of Brazil.