Luiz Carlos Trabuco Cappi has had a long and illustrious career with Brazilian banking giant Bradesco. After coming to work for the firm back in 1969, Trabuco has proven to be an adroit banker, rising up through the ranks of the firm and eventually reaching its most exalted heights.
Now, he is entering the next phase of his career. He will be taking over the chairmanship for Lazaro Brandao, one of the oldest currently serving chairpersons in the world. As Brandao, 92, steps down from the role, some questions have arisen from shareholders as to what direction the bank will take in the near and long-term future. Although the shakeup at the top of the Bradesco hierarchy has made some investors nervous, Brandao has repeatedly assured stakeholders that Trabuco Cappi is the absolute best man for the job.
To be sure, however, Trabuco Cappi will have some large shoes to fill. Brandao has been with the bank for an incredible 75 years, longer than any other employee in its history and perhaps longer than any employee of a major Brazilian corporation ever. After coming to work for the firm in 1943, its first full year of operation, Brandao went on to have one of the most superlative careers in the Brazilian banking industry.
From 1981 onward, he served in roles at the top of the bank’s pecking order. It was that year that he was first appointed CEO. The inveterate banker went on to oversee the growth of the company from a modest regional thrift institution into one of the most powerful financial conglomerates in all of Latin America. Between the years of 1990 and 1999, Brandao held the title both of CEO and of Chairman of the Board of Directors. This was the only time in the history of the bank that one person has held both roles. And it turned out to be one of the best periods that the bank has ever been through.
One of the reasons that Brandao is held in almost cult-like regard by many of the bank’s stakeholders is the fact that he oversaw its period of most astonishing growth. Between 1990 and 2009, he oversaw the growth in valuation of the firm by a factor of more than 300 times. Although Brandao often gets personally credited with the bulk of this enormous success, such fantastic growth did not rest entirely on his shoulders.
Trabuco Cappi himself was a major component in the rapid expansion and subsequent skyrocketing valuation of the firm. During the 1990s, Trabuco Cappi headed up the bank’s financial planning division. It was there that he first instituted a policy of deliberately wooing the nation’s ever-growing class of wealthy elites. This strategy proved to be far-sighted, with the bank’s balance sheets becoming engorged with tens of billions of dollars in new deposits.
The sudden swelling of the bank’s deposits meant that it could radically expand its loan underwriting activities. This is one of the key factors behind the phenomenal growth of the 90s, and it was mostly attributable to Trabuco Cappi’s initiatives.
This is another reasons that investors who worry about how well Trabuco Cappi will be able to handle running the firm from the chairman’s seat are really just seeing a half-empty glass in every snifter of fine cognac. Trabuco Cappi’s excellent record as both an employee and executive speak for themselves in the loudest and clearest possible terms. Without the presence of Trabuco Cappi, Grupo Bradesco would not be what it is today.
As he takes over at the position of chairman, there is little doubt that Bradesco will continue to benefit from his leadership.