One of the oldest and longest-serving chairpersons in the world has recently announced that he will finally be stepping down, marking the end of a 75-year career that has seen his firm rise from an obscure thrift institution into one of the most prominent banks in Latin America. At 92 years old, Lazaro Brandao has been with the firm since 1943, serving in an executive role since the early 1980s.
Although the nonagenarian financier is rapidly approaching his 93rd birthday, there are still many stakeholders in the firm that do not wish to see him exit. This is because Brandao has overseen the period of the bank’s most spectacular growth. Between the years of 1981 and 2009, during which Brandao served in both the positions of CEO and chairman, the bank’s stock price increase by a stunning factor of more than 300 times. This represented one of the most incredible boosts in valuation of any company in the history of Brazilian business.
Between 1990 and the present, Brandao has occupied the post of chairman. He is also the only person in the history of the bank to hold both the job of CEO and the chairmanship simultaneously for anything longer than a trivial period of time, a feat that he pulled off for the nearly decade-long period between 1990 and 1999.
But now, Brandao has stated unequivocally that he will be stepping down for good. He wishes to spend more time with his family and enjoy the long-delayed retirement that he has foregone in order to stay in the game of running one of the largest financial conglomerates, Bradesco, in all of Latin America. Although there is little doubt that Trabuco will be replacing one of the greatest legends of Brazilian finance, Brandao himself has stated multiple times that he strongly believes Trabuco to be the single best person to replace him anywhere in the world.
As hard of an act as that of Brandao is to follow, Trabuco is no slouch himself. Having worked continuously for the bank since 1969, Trabuco rose the the ranks of the firm the old fashioned way: through hard word and grit. Being hired on as a walk-in interviewee when he was just 18 years old, Trabuco climbed through the ranks of the company painstakingly, first being appointed to lower management, then moving on to higher-level positions.
By the 1980s, Trabuco was already occupying a series of executive posts with the bank. He quickly proved to be a very capable leader and one of the best administrators the bank had ever counted in its employ. In 1992, he was tapped to head up the bank’s flagging financial planning division. It was there that Trabuco first started making profound contributions to the fundamental way in which the bank approached its business.
At the time, Brazil was going through a period of rapid growth, and vast fortunes were being made among Brazilian nationals. Trabuco was the first to recognize the enormity of this opportunity. He quickly moved to attract the nation’s many newly minted wealthy. The strategy proved to be an enormous success. Within just a few years, Trabuco and his department had nearly cornered the wealthy-client market within the Brazilian banking industry. This led to a vast influx of new cash on deposit, a condition that enabled the bank to begin underwriting tens of billions of dollars in new loans.
Trabuco was again able to create huge profits from the bank’s struggling insurance division. By the time he was done there, the insurance operation was the single largest underwriter of retail policies in the country.
These are just a few examples of Trabuco’s acumen.
For more, please read “Luiz Carlos Trabuco Cappi é o empreendedor do ano nas finanças em 2015.”