Keeping up with all the economic and social changes in Brazil can be a difficult exercise. Brazil’s economy was on fire in 2004. GDP growth was 7.5 percent that year, and for the next six or seven years, the economy attracted foreign and domestic investors. But the economy began to slow down in 2012, and in 2013 Brazil was in economic trouble. There are several reasons for the economic downturn. The government was slow to react. By the time the government did act it was too late. The Brazilian economy was a mess, and the government was even messier.
But the big banks in Brazil didn’t feel the impact of the worst recession in more than 90 years. Banks like Itaú and Bradesco protected their assets through insurance policies, high-interest rates, and government programs. Not all the banks in Brazil are privately owned so the government-owned banks are not profit centers in the true sense of the word. But Itaú and Bradesco are in business to make money. CEO of Bradesco, Luiz Carlos Trabuco and the Chairman of the Board Lázaro de Mello Brandão, as well as the executives who oversee various divisions of the bank, did an outstanding job keeping the bank profitable during the lean years.
Most bankers know the Lázaro de Mello Brandão story. Brandão was one of the bank’s first employees when Bradesco was still a small city bank in Sao Paulo. Mr. Brandão and founder Amador Aguiar are responsible for the growth of Bradesco during the early years. By the time Luis Carlos Trabuco got a trainee position with Bradesco, the bank was on the verge of being a banking powerhouse. But when Brandão put Trabuco in charge of Seguros, the bank’s insurance arm, he knew Luiz was ready to tackle bigger challenges. Trabuco took over as CEO in late 2009, and that’s when Bradesco really got into gear. When Trabuco set up a deal to acquire with HSBC’s Brazilian division in 2015, the handwriting was on the banking wall. Bradesco was on track to give Itaú some strong domestic competition and that’s exactly what happened.
But banks can’t rest on what they earned last year or the year before, so in 2017, Lázaro de Mello Brandão decided his banking days were over. His long career and strong leadership put the bank in rare banking company. Brandão likes to give all the credit for the bank’s success to Trabuco and his team. Trabuco is a CEO who takes care of the people who work for him, so it was no surprise when he nominated seven executive vice-presidents as candidates to take his place. All the men have the right qualifications, but Octavio Lazari, the Seguros vice-president, was Brandão and Trabuco’s new CEO pick. Shareholders will vote on the Lazari nomination on March 12th according to g1.globo.com.
Lazari is already acting like a CEO. He told the press the bank is not looking for new acquisitions in 2018 according to economia.estadao.com.br. Mr. Lazari also told the press Bradesco will fine-tune and expand its mobile banking services in order to compete with the digital bank startups in the country. Octavio thinks there are too many under-performing bank branches because of the HSBC merger, so his team will address those branches in the months to come.
Learn more about Luiz Carlos Trabuco: http://www.valor.com.br/financas/5306443/bradesco-anuncia-octavio-lazari-no-lugar-de-luiz-carlos-trabuco