It was recently announced by Bradesco, one of the largest banks in Brazil, that the bank’s executive lineup would soon be undergoing major changes. The changes started with the announcement by the inveterate chairman of the company, Lazaro Brandao, that he would soon be leaving the firm. The 91 year old banker is among the oldest currently serving board members of a major corporation, anywhere in the world.
Taking Brandao’s place will be Luiz Carlos Trabuco Cappi, the man who has held the position of CEO with the firm for the last 8 years. Trabuco Cappi, in turn, will need to select his own replacement by March of 2018. Although such a complete shakeup of upper management at the bank may, at first, appear to herald major changes in the way that the firm operates, most industry observers believe that things will continue on much as they have before.
With Trabuco Cappi having set the stage for Bradesco to solidify its position as a banking monopoly throughout Brazil, most experts believe that the firm will not start risking that standing on unproven methods.
The elder statesman of Brazilian banking says goodbye for the last time
Lazaro Brandao has worked for Bradesco for an incredible 75 years. Having started on with the firm at the age of just 16, in 1943, Bradao has labored continuously for the bank ever since. He was able to rise quickly through the corporation’s ranks, eventually being appointed CEO in 1991, 38 years after his first job with Bradesco.
But Brandao proved to be no ordinary executive. Apart from the fact that he was able to serve simultaneously as CEO and chairman of the board, the latter position being one he has held constantly for the last 27 years, Brandao also oversaw the period of the most spectacular growth in the bank’s history.
Between 1990 and 2017, the banks total market value increased by a factor of more than 300, marking one of the most incredible increases in value of any major corporation in Brazilian history. This incredible run not only earned Brandao the respect and admiration of Bradesco shareholders, but it also earned him national recognition as one of the elder statesmen of Brazilian finance. Today, even as the veteran banker approaches his 92nd birthday, many stakeholders in the firm are uncomfortable with him leaving. This is a reflection of the extent to which many people view Brandao’s leadership as being inseparable from the good fortunes of the company.
Trabuco Cappi is the right man for the job
Still, Brandao has assured the shareholders, in explicit terms, that Trabuco Cappi, his replacement, is the perfect man for the job. Yet not all shareholders are completely happy with Trabuco Cappi being selected to head the board of directors.
Trabuco Cappi’s bumpy ride as CEO is still on the minds of many shareholders. Having inherited a bank operating in tough macroeconomic circumstances, Trabuco Cappi’s first 6 years as CEO were marked by pronounced losses in both market share and the market capitalization of the company. By 2015, more than 80 percent of the market value of Bradesco had been wiped out. Trabuco Cappi was on the verge of losing his job when he managed to pull off one of the biggest coups in Brazilian business history with the acquisition of HSBC Brazil.
The last-minute move to acquire the Brazilian subsidiary of the second largest global banking conglomerate quickly righted Bradesco’s ship.
With Trabuco Cappi being hailed in the Brazilian business press as a financial genius. The stock price soon began a rally that has continued to the present, as Bradesco currently trades at or near all-time highs. Still, the rocky road of Trabuco Cappi’s first six years are hard to forget for some.