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Luiz Carlos Trabuco: A Continuing Trend In Bradesco’s Effective Succession Strategy

Succession is an important consideration for all companies. It is a disruptive process that requires companies to select new leadership. Done correctly, it can usher an organization into a period of renewed growth, but done wrong it can lead to the death of even the largest organizations. Brazilian private bank, Bradesco is one of the few companies that get it right with succession every single time. Founded in 1974, the company has only four CEOs in its 73-year existence. The four have been the founder Amador Aguiar, board chair Lazaro Brandao, Marcio Cypriano and Luiz Carlos Trabuco. The collective input of this four men, but especially Luiz Carlos Trabuco, have Bradesco one of the most dominant players in the Brazilian banking industry.

Given the small number and high caliber of presidents selected at Bradesco, it has always been known that the organization is quite. As such, in 2009 when the time came for Marco Cypriano to retire, many in the industry knew that only one man was suitable to occupy the position of CEO. Luiz Carlos Trabuco had been with the bank for more than four decades. Few knew the company more than him, and he had previously come close to being selected as CEO but lost out to Cypriano due to his young age. This time, however, it was clear as day that Luiz Carlos Trabuco was the best-placed individual to lead the company – and he was. He has ably led the company for seven years now. In his time at the bank’s helm, its asset base has grown to about $400 billion, and he oversees tens of thousands of employees.

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Luiz Carlos Trabuco’s prominence as a business executive started gaining recognition when he headed Bradesco subsidiary, Bradesco Seguros. He quickly grew the subsidiary to become the largest in the country by expanding the network of active brokers. A testament to his hard work at the organization, when he was first named Bradesco Seguros president, the subsidiary contributed about 26% of the bank’s overall profit, but by the time of his leaving, however, this figure had grown to 35%. Additionally, he also grew Bradesco Seguro’s portfolio to comprise a quarter of the total premiums in the market from the previous share of 23%. His contribution to the Brazilian insurance industry was twice recognized with an Insurance Personality of the Year award.

Since becoming Chief Executive Officer, Luiz Carlos Trabuco has been making strategic plays to reposition Bradesco as the undisputed leader in the private banking segment. The first of these strategies has been expanding the bank’s branch network. For instance, in 2009 alone, it is estimated that Bradesco opened up 211 new branches to facilitate organic growth. Where organic growth has seemed to slow, Luiz Carlos Trabuco has instead invested in acquiring smaller banks. In 2015, for instance, Bradesco acquired HSBC for a sum estimated at slightly more than five billion dollars. The acquisition significantly increased Bradesco’s branch network, assets and number of accounts held. While commenting on the deal, Luiz Carlos Trabuco said that the deal brought Bradesco progress that would otherwise have taken at least six years through organic growth.

Away from work, Luiz Carlos Trabuco likes to keep a low profile. He has, however, previously taken a rare step into the limelight to campaign for Christ the Redeemer’s election as one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World. His persistent and innovation by using slogans such as “Vote Christ, It is a Wonder” not only got the colossal statue elected but also won him the admiration of millions of Brazilians across the country.

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