Banco Bradesco occupies an enviable position in the Brazilian Banking industry. The bank is today the second largest private bank in the country and commands an asset-base of nearly $400 billion. The bank has largely gotten to this position through effective leadership.
Until last month this effective leadership was provided by Lazaro Brandao as the chairman and Luiz Carlos Trabuco as the president. However, a series of events have occurred in the last one month that has led to Luiz Carlos Trabuco serving as both the chairman and the interim President.
These series of events started with the resignation of Lazaro Brandao in October. After serving the bank for more than seven decades, including being chairman for the last 27 years, he decided to call it quits and focus more on his family life. Now aged 91, Lazaro Brandao deserves nothing less than praise for serving Bradesco and the Brazilian banking industry for so long. His final act of service to the bank was preparing a replacement in anticipation of his departure. Lazaro Brandao has long been the mentor of Luiz Carlos Trabuco and was, in fact, the one who sponsored him to become the vice chairman of the board three years ago. The move not only made Luiz Carlos Trabuco a better leader but also made him particularly understand how the Bradesco board operates. He will therefore not have a hard time transitioning into his new role.
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Luiz Carlos Trabuco will, however, continue being the president at Bradesco for a few more months. The board meeting at which the next president will be chosen is scheduled for March 2018 – around the time at which the bank will hold its next annual general meeting. As such, industry players have chiefly been left to speculate who will next hold the enviable position at the bank. Fortunately, Bradesco does have a long-held practice of choosing presidents from among the leadership talents working within the bank. With the bank not being expected to break away from the practice anytime soon, it is largely expected that the next president will be one of the senior executives currently working at the bank. Given the credentials and performances of these senior executives, the board will definitely be spoilt for choice when making the decision.
A trained sociologist, Luiz Carlos Trabuco has come a long way to become the chairman at Bradesco. His journey to the top of the bank’s leadership ranks begins at the very bottom, having served as a clerk when he first joined the bank in 1969. Since then, he has matured into one of the best bankers the company has ever employed, a fact evidenced by the number and weight of positions he has held in the bank. His most memorable tenures thus far have been as the department director from 1984-1992, the president of the insurance subsidiary from 200-2006, Bradesco Seguros and the president of Bradesco since 2009.
A major concern for Luiz Carlos Trabuco and the incoming president should be the state of the Brazilian economy. The South American nation has for the last few years experienced economic difficulties that have greatly suppressed the banking sector. In fact, Bradesco had resulted to scaling back on its expansive branch network as a strategy to protect its reducing margins. If the economy continues on a negative trajectory, Trabuco and the incoming manager will have to think of more innovative ways to sustain the bank’s profitability. However, should the economy start showing signs of improvement, the two should quickly grab the moment and continue growing the bank aggressively before the competition starts doing the same.