Luiz Carlos Trabuco Cappi Continues Mission To Make Bradesco Unqualified Hegemon Of Banking
Luiz Carlos Trabuco Cappi has been with Bradesco since he first graduated high school. That was way back in 1969. Now, the 67-year-old CEO of Brazil’s largest bank will be moving upward again. This time, he will be assuming the role of chairman of the board of directors. This marks the final promotion that Trabuco Cappi can get at the bank, completing his journey from the mail room to the boardroom in just under 50 years.
As Trabuco Cappi takes over for the departing chairman, Lazaro Brandao, many stakeholders are wondering what strategic vision he will bring to the table. To answer, it is helpful to look back at some of the initiatives he has pushed at the bank in his various executive roles with it.
The one common current through most of Trabuco Cappi’s career has been an overarching tendency to utterly crush the competition and become the unquestioned suzerain of whatever domain he is in the process of conquering. Trabuco Cappi may be ruthless, cunning and, at times, even Machiavellian, but he is also one of the single most valuable employees the bank has ever had the fortune to count among its ranks.
Trabuco Cappi was directly responsible for the explosive growth that the bank experienced during the 90s and 2000s. Although others often get undue credit for the magnificent rise in value of the firm throughout this period, it was Trabuco Cappi who was directing battle in the trenches. As the head of the bank’s financial planning division, he was able to radically increase the number of high-net-worth clients that Bradesco served. This was done through plying them with extravagant comps and providing them with lavish facilities and 24/7 personal bankers, treating the bank’s most valuable customers as if they were minor royalty.
The strategy proved to be successful. Within a few years of having taken over the unit, the bank experienced a deluge of new deposits from many of the country’s wealthiest industrial titans. Within a few years, the bank’s balance sheets had become engorged by billions of dollars in new deposits. This, in turn, enabled Bradesco to begin a flurry of loan underwriting activity orders of magnitude greater than any that the bank had undertaken in the past. All of this increase activity led to sharply higher valuations of the firm’s stock price.
Trabuco Cappi was able to repeat that performance, giving a hair-raising encore as the head of the bank’s insurance division. Trabuco Cappi put his virtuosic managerial skills on display, as he drove Bradesco Seguros to become the single largest underwriter of retail insurance policies in the country. This was another key development in the bank’s rapid ascent from regional bit player to international financial juggernaut.
If anything, Trabuco Cappi has not received nearly enough credit for being one of the key figures behind the bank’s phenomenal growth. All told, between the years of 1990 and 2009, Bradesco’s market capitalization increased by a factor of more than 300 times, representing one of the most spectacular increases in value of any company in the history of the Brazilian stock market.
What’s more, the bank has held on to all of that value. Under Trabuco’s watch, the bank’s shares are now trading at all-time highs. He was responsible for the 2015 acquisition of HSBC Brazil for $5.2 billion in cash, a move that earned him the coveted 2015 Isto E Dinheiro Entrepreneur of the Year Award.
As Bradesco assumes the leadership of the board of directors, it is a good bet that he will continue pushing the firm towards outsize returns and excellent long-term performance.