Luis Carlos Trabuco has been with Bradesco, one of the largest banks in Brazil, for longer than anyone, save his boss, Lazaro Brandao. The latter has been with the bank for an astounding 75 years, working for the firm, uninterrupted, since he turned 16 years old in 1943. Trabuco himself has likewise spent his entire career with the bank, coming on board in 1969, at the age of 18.
Climbing to the top of the corporate ladder
Trabuco first came to work at Bradesco shortly after graduating from high school. The young Trabuco had ambitions of attending college and getting an advanced degree in business, but he lacked the money to do so.
He saw a help-wanted sign on the door of a local bank. Bradesco, at that time, was a thrift institution local to the town of Marilia, with just a few branches. Trabuco applied and was hired at the bank. Over his first year, he proved to be a capable employee with an easy-going way towards customers. He was a fast learner and quickly mastered a number of different tasks.
By the end of his first year, Trabuco had already made it to the position of branch manager. By the mid-1970s, he was a district manager for the rapidly expanding bank, which was now becoming a regional force across the state of Sao Paulo. During this period, Trabuco was able to put himself through night school, even as he worked up to 60 hours per week. By the end of the 1970s, he had attained a bachelor’s degree in business administration and a master’s in psychology from the University of Sao Paulo, one of the most prestigious universities in the country.
In 1984, he was tapped to head up the bank’s advertising and public relations department. This was Trabuco’s first real executive role with the company. He quickly demonstrated the leadership and strong vision to get things accomplished. By the time he left the department, Bradesco ranked as one of the strongest brands in Sao Paulo.
In 1992, Trabuco was again appointed to an executive position being the president within the bank. This time, he was put in charge of the firm’s ailing financial planning division. Having been founded in the mid-1980s, the financial planning unit had struggled to achieve relevance within its market and was only generating a tiny fraction of the firm’s total revenues.
Trabuco quickly began making serious changes to the way in which the unit approached its business. He created a tiered banking system, doing away with the company’s previous method of delivering equal services to all customers, no matter how much they were worth to the bank. According to folha.uol.com.br Trabuco created Bradesco Prime, a high-end banking service that was aimed at the high-net-worth market. The services included 24/7, on-call personal bankers, separate ultra-luxury facilities and even the ability of high-end clients to earn complimentaries, such as vacations at five-star resorts and first-class airfare.
The new strategy proved to be enormously effective. By the mid-90s, Trabuco had managed to virtually corner the high-net-worth personal banking market throughout Brazil. This produced an influx of tens of millions of dollars in new deposits to the bank, enabling Bradesco to rapidly expand its balance sheets and its loan portfolio.
Trabuco’s successes were noted by the top brass at the bank. In 2009, he was nominated to replace outgoing CEO Mario Cypriano. Trabuco ultimately proved to be a good CEO. He was responsible for the 2015 acquisition of HSBC Brazil, a move that significantly strengthened Bradesco’s strategic position.
Now, Trabuco will become the next chairman of the bank. If the past is any guide, the future of Bradesco looks good.
Learn more about Luiz Carlos Trabuco: https://g1.globo.com/economia/negocios/noticia/sucessao-no-conselho-do-bradesco-foi-um-ato-planejado-diz-trabuco.ghtml