Bradesco, one of the oldest financial institutions in the country, was founded in 1943 by Amador Aguiar. The bank’s first office was located in the small city of Marilia. The bank surprised many by growing from relative obscurity to become the largest private bank in the country in only eight years. It held on to this position of market leadership for 56 years before losing out the newly merge Itau Unibanco bank in 2008. Having completed about 50 acquisitions over the course of its history, the bank has mastered the art of continuously growing.
Today, it is the second largest bank in the country with assets valued at close to $400 billion and slightly over 100 thousand employees. Luiz Carlos Trabuco is the fourth president to head the bank since the death of Aguiar. The other two were Lazaro Brandao and Marcio Cypriano.
Coincidentally, Luiz Carlos Trabuco shares an almost similar background story to that of Bradesco. Like the bank, he also hails from the city of Marilia. He was born there in 1951 – the same year in which the bank became the largest private bank in the country. Additionally, he also rose from relative obscurity to become a standout among his peers. He joined the bank aged 18 with no prior experience in banking or academic qualifications in any related skills – he would later go on to study Sociology at the University of Sao Paulo. However, in less than two decades after joining the firm, he was already one of the youngest department directors at the bank. By age 47, he was already being considered for the top position at the bank, only losing out due to his relatively younger age. Then in 2003, he assumed the presidency at the bank subsidiary, and largest insurance company in the country, Bradesco Seguros. He had six successful years at the subsidiary before being promoted to become the overall president of the bank in 2009.
Luiz Carlos Trabuco’s assumption of top leadership at Bradesco always seemed fated to happen; and since it has happened, it has not been disappointing. Through deals such as the HSBC Brazil acquisition in 2015, he has taken the Bradesco brand to new heights. The multibillion-dollar deal was the largest of 2015 and was lauded by many, not only due to how it improved Bradesco but also how it helped the economy. That year, the Brazilian economy had been caught up in a crisis threatening to take the country into a recession. Owing to its magnitude, the acquisition showed many investors in the country that the economy was still robust and there consequently was no need to withdraw their investments. In 2016, Luiz Carlos Trabuco’s importance to the company saw the board pave the way for him to extend his time at the bank for two more years by amending the retirement age for presidents from 65 to 67.
Perhaps due to his background in sociology, Luiz Carlos Trabuco is a great conversationalist. This is a skill that greatly comes in handy because many are intimidated by his various achievements and seniority in the Brazilian financial sector. He is an intent listener and employs a mixture of wit and humor to disarm those around him and get them to speak freely. His simplicity also extends to the way he dresses and carries himself. While he is certainly a man of means, he prefers to keep his dressing subtle, without any jewelry or exaggerated signs of wealth.
Having had a look through both their journeys, it is safe to say that neither Bradesco nor Luiz Carlos Trabuco would be where they are today without each other.