Luiz Carlos Trabuco Cappi, the current CEO of Bradesco, one of the largest banks in Brazil, has recently announced that he will be stepping down from his current position in order to assume the role of chairman of the board. This comes amid the departure of Lazaro Brandao, the long-serving chairman of the company, who was responsible for overseeing the period of most spectacular growth in the firm’s history.

Although many shareholders are nervous about Brandao’s departure, the 92-year-old financial expert has stated unequivocally that he believes 100-percent in Trabuco Cappi’s ability to step into the role. Brandao has stated that he and Trabuco Cappi have always worked well together and seen eye to eye on most things of major import to the bank. As the nonagenarian veteran of the Brazilian banking industry steps aside, Trabuco Cappi will be responsible for immediately taking over roles as chairman. It is anticipated that he will occupy both the positions of chairman and as CEO until he has found his replacement. He has until March of 2018 to select the his successor.


The end of a legendary career

It may be surprising that some shareholder in the bank have expressed grave reservations about the retirement of someone old enough to remember the Great Depression, but such is the case with regards to Lazaro Brandao. The elder statesman of Brazilian finance has gained a legendary reputation due to his oversight of the bank through its most incredibly productive decades.

First coming to work for Bradesco in 1943, the 16-year-old Brandao had not even completed high school. But through hard work and determination, he was able to impress his supervisors and begin climbing through the ranks. At a time when the bank was just a one-branch thrift institution in the small town of Marilia, Sao Paulo, there was not much room to move up. However, by the 1960s, Brandao had accumulated enough experience and cachet with company brass that he found himself quickly ascending the corporate ladder of a company that, itself, was on the rise.

In 1981, Brandao was appointed CEO of the bank according to Between 1990 and 1999, he served simultaneously as both chairman of the board of directors and as CEO. All told, he has served as the chairman for 27 years and in a top-executive role for 36 years. Over the course of his tenure, the value of the company increased by a factor of more than 300 times, making Brandao one of the most successful executives in Brazilian corporate history.

But Luiz Carlos Trabuco is no slouch either. Although Brandao gets most of the credit, by virtue of being the top dog, for all of the bank’s success throughout the 90s and 2000s, Trabuco Cappi was one of the key behind-the-scenes players to actually implement the innovations that drove all of the bank’s successes from the ground up. Trabuco Cappi was placed in charge of a string of business units, each time turning them around from a state of losing money into highly profitable business lines that were central to the bank’s overall health.

But some of the most important innovations that Trabuco Cappi brought to the table involved the changes to how the bank fundamentally approaches its business. For example, Trabuco Cappi was one of the first executives to deliberately go after the high-net-worth-client market, a move that would ultimately increase the amount of money on deposit with the bank by billions of dollars and increase its ability to underwrite loans dramatically.

These innovations are one reason that Brandao himself has so much confidence in Trabuco Cappi’s ability to lead, even if the shareholders don’t fully understand it.

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