Luiz Carlos Trabuco will become chairman of the board of Bradesco

After a career spanning more than 7 decades, one of the oldest active bankers in the world will be retiring in the next couple weeks. Lazaro Brandao has been with Bradesco, one of the largest banks in Brazil, since the age of just 16. He joined the firm in 1943, the year that it was founded, as a bank teller and worked his way up through the ranks, eventually becoming CEO in 1981.

Luiz Carlos Trabuco, one of the few people who has worked at Bradesco nearly as long as Brandao, has been slated to take over as the chairman of the board of directors. Trabuco has the full support of Brandao, who says that his retirement was solely his decision and was done for the continuity of the company.

Trabuco has overseen a tumultuous decade as CEO of the firm, having overseen a tremendous decline in the company’s stock price and fortunes but also having redeemed himself in the eyes of shareholders with the 2015 acquisition of HSBC Brazil. Between the time that Trabuco took over the firm and the middle of 2015, the bank’s stock price plummeted by nearly 80 percent. Trabuco, an inveterate banker who is widely respected among his peers, was on the verge of losing his job.

But then, in late 2015, he announced that Bradesco would acquire HSBC Brazil for $5.2 billion in an all-cash deal. The news immediately sent the stock price soaring. The stock never stopped going up and is now trading at more than 2.5 times its 2015 lows.

Brandao himself has said that he is fully confident that Trabuco possesses all of the necessary traits to make a good chairman of the board. The announcement of Trabuco as the successor of the long-time chairman Brandao did not come as a surprise to many. They had long known that Brandao would retire, and Trabuco had already been granted various extensions of his tenure in order to see the integration of all of HSBC Brazil’s systems and businesses into the larger corporate structure of Bradesco. In fact, Bradesco’s own governance laws state that no one may serve as CEO past the age of 65. However, Brandao personally granted Trabuco multiple waivers in order for the CEO to continue his work on the HSBC acquisition deal and see it through to a successful resolution.

What comes next?

Trabuco himself will be responsible for appointing his successor, as is required by the corporate bylaws. Although Trabuco himself has been coy about who he will choose to replace him, he has assured the press that the new CEO will be chosen from within the ranks of the company, a tradition long adhered to by the company’s upper management.

Although there are at least seven potential names of people who are in a qualified position to take over the helm of Brazil’s largest bank, the name of Mauricio Minas seems to be the one at the forefront. Minas is a 58-year-old IT executive who has been responsible for overseeing the integration of all of HSBC Brazil’s technology systems with those of Bradesco. He was also largely responsible for the development and spinoff of the online banking platform Next, which started as an in house project for Bradesco but is now morphing into a major player in the Brazilian banking space in its own right.

At least six other candidates are fully qualified for the position, but those closest to the inner workings of the company say that Trabuco focuses far less on seniority and much more on talent and proven track records. This would make Minas the strong favorite.


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