Big changes have been announced at Grupo Bradesco, the largest bank in Brazil across many market segments. For starters, longtime chairman of the board of directors Lazaro Brandao has announced that he will permanently step down from his role with the bank. In his place, Luiz Carlos Trabuco, the currently acting CEO of the firm, will assume that position no later than March of 2018. At 91, Brandao is one of the oldest currently serving chair people of any major corporation in the world.
A vacancy arises at the top of the pyramid
The departure of Luiz Carlos Trabuco for the permanent chairmanship of the bank will create a vacancy in the spot of CEO that will need to be filled immediately. Trabuco, at 67 years old, was briefly rumored to have considered asking for a continued extension of his waivers to continue on as CEO, possibly holding both the position of CEO and chairman at the same time. With a mandatory retirement age of 65 written into the corporate bylaws for all employees, Trabuco had been operating on waivers personally signed by Brandao himself. This was due to the wind up of the acquisition of HSBC Brazil and the subsequent integration of all of its components into the broader Bradesco corporate infrastructure, a task that only Trabuco could have effectively carried out due to his intricate knowledge of the deal.
But with that effort drawing to a close, there is no longer any reason for Trabuco to be indefinitely granted extensions on his tenure. This means that he will need to select a replacement for the slot of CEO by at least March of 2018.
Trabuco says he will recruit from within
Trabuco, who has been known for his ambivalence towards recruiting managerial talent from outside the firm, was, at one point, rumored to have been looking at potential recruits from Goldman Sachs, Wells Fargo and other North American financial institutions to possibly fill the vacant slot. However, he ultimately came clean, stating explicitly that he would not deviate from the traditional corporate process of recruiting from within the bank.
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This news has significantly narrowed the number of possible candidates to fill the vacant slot. Trabuco has also stated unequivocally that seniority will not be a primary factor in his decision. Those who know Trabuco well say that he operates on strictly meritocratic principles, always favoring proven accomplishment over credentials. People close to Trabuco also point out that he is a major proponent of technology, especially moving Bradesco’s customers into mobile platforms that allow them to enjoy the same services as traditional walk-in banking but which often carry far higher margins for the bank.
In practice, this means that only one candidate, Mauricio Minas, is a true favorite to win the spot of CEO at the bank. Although Minas has been with the bank for just over five years, he has accomplished a great deal in that time. It it Minas who has been responsible for overseeing the integration of all of the technology assets of HSBC Brazil into the larger Bradesco system. He was also responsible for the creation of Next, and internet and mobile banking platform that has seen over 14 million Bradesco customers migrate into online banking, a huge boost for Bradesco. The Next system has proven to be so successful that it is currently being spun off into its own company.
Whoever ultimately ends up taking the helm of Brazil’s largest bank, with Trabuco acting as chairman, it is likely that the policies and strategies that have been broadly followed throughout his tenure will continue into the future.
Find more about Luiz Carlos Trabuco: http://www1.folha.uol.com.br/mercado/2017/10/1926427-sucessao-no-bradesco-vira-alvo-de-aposta.shtml