Brandao’s Abdication Causes Leadership Changes at Bradesco

October 11, 2017, was a significant day for Banco Bradesco’s management; the bank’s chairman, Lazaro de Mello Brandao, who had served the bank for over 74 years stepped down. Following Brandao’s abdication, Luiz Carlos Trabuco was appointed to take over the chairmanship of the bank. Bradesco’s bank chairman represents Bradesco Foundation, the controlling shareholder of Bradesco. Trabuco who is also the president of the bank will discharge the responsibilities of both offices until when the bank will appoint his successor. According to Bradesco’s bylaws, Trabuco’s term as the CEO of the company will end early next year, and the bank is prospecting for his replacement. When he officially steps down as the president, Trabuco will continue his tenure as the chairman of the bank.

Brandao was the holder of the No.1 employee badge and for a reason. The retired executive joined the bank in 1943; he was a teenager—16 years old. In fact, he had not completed his fundamental studies, and the bank placed him to discharge clerical duties. However, nobody expected that Brandao’s career would turn out the way it did. The little-known clerk put forward his best foot in serving the bank. Bradesco recognized his ability, and he got promoted several times each instance ascending the corporate ladder. Brandao had his huge break in 1981 when Bradesco thought he was the best-placed employee to replace the then CEO, Amado Aguiar, who was also the brains behind the banking institution. Ten years later, Brandao once again succeeded Aguiar as the chairman of the bank. For the following eight years, Brandao held both the chairmanship and the presidency posts. Brandao tenure in the presidency office ended in 1999. While he stepped down, he continued serving as the chair of the board of directors until his recent resignation.

Trabuco’s career is almost similar to that of the immediate former chairman, Brandao. Bradesco hired Trabuco 48 years ago to discharge clerical roles. Just like Brandao, the sky is the limit for Trabuco. The executive was promoted successively through various levels of management until he become the CEO of the bank in 2009. Before that, Trabuco was in charge of Bradesco Seguros where he increased the unit’s efficiency. His tenure at Bradesco Seguros saw the subsidiary’s profit contributions to its parent company rise markedly.

As the president of Bradesco, Trabuco initiated programs tailored to improve the service delivery of the bank. He established Unibrad Corporate University which was recently certified the “Best Corporate University in the World.” Trabuco envisioned a corporate entity whose employees including the top managers achieved their personal and professional goals. In 2015, he made a bold move that saw Bradesco acquire HSBC Brazil for $5.2 billion. The purchase was later certified the most significant one in Brazil’s financial industry that year.

Trabuco’s education background centered on human sciences as opposed to accounting, economics, or studies related to the banking profession. He is a philosopher with postgraduate knowledge on Socio-Psychology. He is a former student of UNESP and the Fundação School of Sociology and Politics.

Trabuco has navigated the banking professional impressively winning awards, and his name has appeared alongside those of other industry leaders. Recently, the Forbes Magazine included Trabuco’s name in its list of “Best CEO’s in Brazil.” However, last year’s recognition was just one of the many that Trabuco has received. Trabuco is the custodian of the 2009’s Don Quixote Trophy.

Who Might Succeed Trabuco?

Although nobody can state with certainty who will take over from Trabuco, the following seven professionals are in the forefront of the succession contest.

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