For Luiz Carlos Trabuco, Second Place Is Never Enough

Luiz Carlos Trabuco has spent his entire career with Brazilian banking giant Grupo Bradesco. Over that time, he has risen from the lowest positions at the bank to its most exalted office, that of CEO. Now, he is finally stepping down from the presidency of the bank after nine years of strong leadership. He will be assuming the role of chairman of the board, marking the beginning of yet another chapter in the superlative career of one of Brazil’s top bankers.

Over the course of his time at Bradesco, one thing has become clear: Trabuco plays to win. He first ascended to an executive role in the mid-1980s, when he was appointed to head the company’s marketing and public relations division. There, he was able to turn the bank’s image around by 180 degrees, taking a tarnished brand with a shaky reputation and turning it into one of the most recognized and beloved financial institutions in the Sao Paulo region.

His time at the helm of the company’s financial planning division also demonstrated his relentless drive to vanquish all competitors. While he led the unit, he was able to turn a struggling division, which had never before turned a profit, into one of the most profitable business lines at the corporation according to In creating a plan to attract many of the country’s wealthiest customers, Trabuco single-handedly increased the bank’s balance sheets by billions of dollars, allowing it to rapidly expand throughout the 90s and underwriting vastly more loans than had ever before been possible.

From there, Trabuco went on to lead the company’s insurance arm. Bradesco Seguros was a lackluster unit of the bank, registering only as a minor player in the country’s retail insurance market. But under Trabuco’s leadership, the division became an unstoppable money machine, quickly surpassing all other insurers in the country. By the time Trabuco left the unit, Bradesco Seguros was the leading automotive insurer in the country and had established itself in home and commercial insurance lines as a major player.

Read more: Bradesco anuncia novo presidente: Octavio de Lazari Junior vai substituir Luiz Carlos Trabuco Cappi

This drive to turn every business operation he led into an undisputed champion of its realm continued as Trabuco took the helm of Grupo Bradesco, becoming its fourth CEO in 2009. The macroeconomic picture for Brazil and its banking industry were not good for the first few years of his tenure. He faced considerable headwinds in meeting organic growth goals and was taken by surprise when two of the bank’s main rivals merged, forming a much larger conglomerate that proceeded to beat Bradesco on price throughout many of its most lucrative markets.

However, Trabuco was ultimately able to work the same sort of magic that had earned him his stripes in previous battles. In 2015, he was able to complete the acquisition of HSBC Brazil, in full, for around $5 billion. This single transaction instantly propelled Bradesco to the number-one spot in the Brazilian banking sector, giving it huge economies of scale and newfound leverage against second-place rival Itau Unibanco. The transaction was considered one of the biggest upsets of the decade in Brazilian business, and it earned Trabuco the 2015 Isto E Dinheiro Entrepreneur of the Year Award.

Today, Bradesco is the largest private bank in Brazil. With more than 5,000 branches, $50 billion per year in revenues, over 100,000 employees and $400 billion in assets, Trabuco has once again come from behind and created an industry leader out of a business that was struggling just a few years before.

As Trabuco moves into the role of chairman, his clear track record of consistently producing winning businesses provides good reason to believe that Bradesco has a bright future.

Find more about Luiz Carlos Trabuco:

This entry was posted in Banking, Business Leaders. Bookmark the permalink.