As the CEO of Bradesco, the second largest private bank in Brazil, Luiz Carlos Trabuco Cappi enjoys premier status in the media; his opinions are followed closely. While Trabuco speaks in measured words, this only served to make his words carry more weight with business leaders and financial analysts throughout Brazil. Not only are Trabuco’s words followed closely, so are his actions. When he took over for Márcio Cypriano, who had an excellent reign as CEO and who greatly increased the bank’s market value, business leaders wondered if Trabuco would have such an impressive performance as CEO.
While no one is questioning Trabuco’s talent, certain factors were not in his favor when he took over as CEO. Bradesco lost its position as the largest private bank in Brazil just two months before and the bank was far behind competitor Itaú Unibanco in assets. The surest way to increase Bradesco’s assets, buying up smaller banks, was not a tactic that Luiz Carlos Trabuco Cappi could execute easily, since there where few feasible acquisition opportunities. Instead, Trabuco would have to rely on organic growth, which is traditionally difficult in challenging economic times. To increase Bradesco’s assets, Trabuco would improve the bank’s internal performance, so Bradesco could be more efficient. Additionally, Luiz Carlos Trabuco Cappi reduced interest rates and planned to open more than 200 branches.
Having been with Bradesco for forty years, the financial market expected Luiz Carlos Trabuco Cappi to become the bank’s CEO, since Bradesco prefers continuity. He started as a clerk in 1969 at the Marília branch; by 1971, Trabuco was working at Bradesco’s headquarters in São Paulo. As per usual at the bank, he moved up slowly, working in various departments and learning how all of the departments of Bradesco worked together. Trabuco stood out from the bank’s other executives, having earned a degree in philosophy from the University of São Paulo, where many of his colleagues majored in economics, accounting or finance. For his postgraduate work, Trabuco studied sociopsychology at the School of Sociology and Politics of São Paulo.
Despite Bradesco’s culture of continuity, Luiz Carlos Trabuco Cappi was innovative, with profitable results. While head of marketing, Trabuco opened up the bank to the media, where before, Bradesco shunned media inquiries. Today, such openness in commonplace, however, Trabuco placed Bradesco ahead of the curve. Giving desirable high-income clients preferential treatment was another of Trabuco’s ideas, one which now has its own name, Bradesco Prime, with separate checks for Prime customers.
While Luiz Carlos Trabuco Cappi never considered making Bradesco the leader once again a goal if his, Trabuco acquired the Brazilian branch of HSBC, which in 2015, was Brazil’s largest business. With a $5.2 billion price tag, HSBC will give Bradesco a six-year jump in otherwise organic growth. The move caught the attention of his peers and in 2015; Trabuco won Entrepreneur of the Year in Finance award from Dinheiro.
As CEO, Luiz Carlos Trabuco Cappi has shown himself to be open to suggestions from managers from all levels of Bradesco, giving autonomy to those who deserved the privilege.
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