It’s been a rumored filled couple of months at Bradesco’s headquarters in Osasco. Seven executives were in the running to take CEO Luiz Carlos Trabuco place as CEO. All the candidates had a good shot at getting the job. Some Bradesco employees thought IT executive Mauricio de Minas would be the next CEO because he is responsible for the bank’s aggressive approach to Internet and mobile banking. Other employees thought operations executive Josué Pancini would be the next president and CEO because he is responsible for the more than 5,000 bank branches across the country. Alexandre Glüher was another employee favorite because he is responsible for the successfully integrating HSBC Brazilian operations into the Bradesco organization. Marcelo Noronha, Andre Cano, and Domingos Abreu also had support but in the end, Octavio Lazari, was the Board of Directors pick to replace Trabuco as president and CEO.
Bradesco’s board knew all those candidates could do the job, but Lazari was the best choice because of his success in his current position. Lazari is president of Banco Seguros. Seguros is the bank’s most profitable division. Lazari will continue as president of Seguros while the board elects new board members from the list of candidates according to istoedinheiro.com.br. Mauricio de Minas, Alexandre Glüher, and Domingos Abreu could be new board members after the annual shareholders meeting March 12th. Lazari also needs shareholders’ approval, and that should be an easy vote for bank investors. Lazari knows how to make money, and Bradesco is going to need his expertise in 2018. The economic climate in Brazil is getting better, but it’s not great. Interest rates are falling and the inflation rate is dropping. The bank will have to get proactive about increasing the number of consumer and business loans they execute over the next two years. If the bank decides to change its current lending policy, there’s always a chance the loan recipients might default.
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But new Chairman Luiz Carlos Trabuco isn’t too concerned about that. The bank’s formula for making money does include a strict lending policy. The bank only lends money to people they know will pay the money back on time. Trabuco is the banker who doesn’t have a banking education. But after almost fifty years with Bradesco, he knows the business inside and out. Former chairman, and the oldest Brazilian banker on record, Lázaro de Mello Brandão, gave Trabuco a chance in 1969 when Trabuco needed a job. Trabuco didn’t disappoint his bosses as he went from one position to another. Trabuco always gave the bank the results they needed to move closer to being the number one bank in the country. When Trabuco took over the Seguros insurance division in 2003 as president, he didn’t waste any time making his presence known. Seguros was the top profit center for the bank while Trabuco was in charge. In 2009, Brandão decided to bring Trabuco back as the president and CEO.
Trabuco’s leadership is one reason Bradesco was a hot pick on Wall Street in 2017. The bank’s executive team was able to produce record-breaking profits in spite of living through the worst recession in more than ninety years. But Trabuco’s work at the bank is just beginning, according to some employees. They believe Brandão’s replacement will give the bank more credibility in the international banking community. But other employees say Brandão’s retirement is a sad time for the bank. He is the only bank employee who knows what it was like to work for Bradesco seventy-five years ago. Bradesco was a small one city bank back then. The bank was willing to lend money to anyone who needed a loan. Those days may be over, but Trabuco, Lazari, and the more than 100,000 bank employees are still trying to keep that small bank attitude alive.