The wait is over. Seven Bradesco executives were in the running to replace Luiz Carlos Trabuco as CEO of the bank, and Octavio Lazari, the president of Bradesco’s insurance division, Seguros, got the job. Fifty-four-year-old Lazari has forty years of service with Bradesco, so he has a pretty good idea what needs to happen internally as well as externally over the next ten years in order to keep the bank profitable.
Luiz Carlos Trabuco, the former CEO, will still be around to help Lazari deal with the issues that make banking in Brazil so profitable. Lazari is no stranger when it comes to making money. While he was president of Seguros, his division was responsible for more than 30 percent of the bank’s profit.
Lazari is the second Seguros president to fill the bank’s CEO job. Luiz Carlos Trabuco was president of the insurance division from 2003 to 2009. He got the bank’s top job at the end of 2009, and Bradesco is a better bank because of his leadership. Trabuco was a bank trainee in 1969. That’s when retiring Chairman Lázaro de Mello Brandão gave Trabuco a chance to prove himself as a banker. Luiz didn’t have a banking education, so Brandão wasn’t sure Trabuco would cut it as a banker even though Luiz has a post-graduate degree in psychology and philosophy degree from the University of Sao Paulo. Brandão wasn’t disappointed with Trabuco’s banking skills. Trabuco went from trainee to vice-president in record-breaking time, according to some bank employees.
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Trabuco is 67 now, so he’s too old to continue as the bank’s CEO. Brandão’s retirement in 2017 gave Trabuco the opportunity to move into the chairman’s office. He took the job knowing the bank is facing several challenges in 2018. Brazil’s economy is getting stronger, but the bank still has to deal with the massive influx of customers using the Internet and their cellphones as banking devices. Bradesco’s IT department is ahead of the market right now, but there is the fear that IT Vice-President Mauricio Machado de Minas will need more help in terms of new programs and more IT people to keep up with the mobile banking demand.
Plus, Bradesco is still dealing with the absorption of HSBC’s Brazilian operation. The HSBC acquisition is generating more profit, but now that the bank has more than 5,300 bank branches there’s fear some of them will drag the bank’s profit down. And the thousands of ATMs across the country need constant attention. Their future viability also needs attention. Lazari recently said the bank will not be in acquisition mode in 2018, but the investor pressure to keep the bank’s stock moving in the right direction may alter those plans.
Even though Mauricio Machado de Minas didn’t get the CEO job, and the other five executives are out of the running too, they still hold important positions. Team building is one of Lazari’s priorities, so investors can expect some internal changes once Lazari gets the approval of the stockholders are the annual meeting on March 12. Lázaro de Mello Brandão, the oldest banker in the history of banking is retiring, but retirement doesn’t mean staying home and watching telenovelas. Mr. Brandão will still have a desk and an opinion. Trabuco welcomes his decision to stay around the bank until all the changes are in place. At 91, Lázaro de Mello Brandão is still as sharp as he was when he took over as chairman when the bank’s founder Amador Aguiar passed away in 1991.
Investors on Wall Street like the new CEO. And they like the fact that Trabuco will still make the tough decisions with him.
Search more about Luiz Carlos Trabuco: http://economia.estadao.com.br/blogs/coluna-do-broad/bradesco-deve-anunciar-sucessor-de-trabuco-antes-do-carnaval/