Luiz Carlos Trabuco Cappi, the man who has served as CEO of Grupo Bradesco for the last 9 years, will soon be stepping down from that position in order to assume the role of chairman of the board. The 67-year-old executive is already past the 65-year-old maximum retirement age by two years, a condition that was made possible by the issuance of special waivers directly from the chairman himself, Lazaro Brandao.
Trabuco Cappi was permitted to stay on as CEO for an extended duration due to his intricate knowledge of the HSBC acquisition, which the bank completed in 2015. Trabuco Cappi was kept on board to oversee the integration of all of the HSBC assets into the Bradesco fold.
The current chairman, Brandao, in turn, will be stepping down permanently. At 92 years old, he is one of the oldest currently serving chairpersons in the world. Even as the nonagenarian banker approaches his mid-90s, there are still many stakeholders in the company that are not pleased to see him go. Brandao has overseen the period of the bank’s most phenomenal growth. Between 1990 and 2009, with Brandao serving in various executive roles, the bank’s value increased by more than 300 times. This has made Brandao into a sort of living legend in the minds of investor’s, with his presence at the top of the Bradesco pyramid heavily favored by those who have made so much money under his command.
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Brandao has garnered as much respect and admiration as is usually reserved for the legendary founding leaders of companies. He is described by many shareholders in the same glowing terms as those used to by the shareholders of Berkshire Hathaway to describe Warren Buffett or the investors of Walmart to describe Sam Walton. But what is interesting about Brandao is his total lack of involvement in either the founding of the company or even its leadership for the first 38 years of its existence according to camar.sp.gov.br. Still, he has gained a sort of hagiographic aura among Bradesco stakeholders that means that, even as he approaches an age beyond which most people live, his troops still rally around him.
This creates somewhat of a problem for Trabuco Cappi, who does not command the same kind of instant respect as Brandao. But Trabuco Cappi has arguably been just as critical in the ascent of Bradesco from small regional concern into one of the powerhouses of Latin American finance.
Over the course of his career, Trabuco Cappi has overseen multiple departments, taking many from unprofitability into the black and expanding the bank’s balance sheets and customer base as he did so. Trabuco Cappi was single-handedly responsible for turning the bank’s financial planning division into one of its most profitable units. And he was a key figure in the rapid expansion of the bank’s balance sheets throughout the 90s and 2000s. As the first one to implement a tiered banking system, in which the most valuable clients were offered world-class banking services, Trabuco Cappi was instrumental in boosting the amount of money on deposit by billions of dollars, thus allowing for dramatically increased loan origination.
There is no question that Trabuco Cappi will fulfill his duties of chairman with the same efficient and venerable approach with which he has handled other aspects of his career. But the question remains as to who will replace him as CEO.
Most of the smart money seems to be coalescing around Mauricio Minas, the bank’s 57-year-old chief IT officer. Minas was responsible for the development of the highly successful Next online banking platform as well as the integration of all HSBC tech assets into those of Bradesco. He is considered a heavy favorite.