Luiz Carlos Trabuco Cappi has experienced a personal rise almost as remarkable as that of the company he currently leads.
As CEO of Grupo Bradesco, the second-largest banking conglomerate in Brazil, with over 100,000 employees and more than 5,000 branches across Brazil, Trabuco has made it clear that he has one goal: to make Bradesco the undisputed champion of the Brazilian banking market.
Bradesco’s unstoppable rise
Bradesco has already had a taste of what being the largest bank in Brazil is like. Briefly, in the mid-2000s, the company became the largest in the country. But the merger of its main two rivals, Itau Bank and Unibanco, in 2009, meant that Bradesco was, once again, pushed back to second place. This was not the position that Trabuco Cappi, who took over at the helm that same year, had in mind for Bradesco’s future. He set about realigning the corporate machinery to pursue the singular goal of once again rising to the top.
But Luiz Carlos Trabuco Cappi took over precisely at a time when the Brazilian banking industry was becoming much tougher. As the country’s economy stagnated in the wake of the financial crisis, the vast organic growth that Bradesco had experienced in the 2000s seemed unlikely to continue into the future. What’s more, there were very few attractive acquisition prospects. Most had already been gobbled up by either Bradesco itself or its rivals. Opportunities for growth, therefore, appeared to be sparse.
But Trabuco Cappi is one of the most experienced and savvy bankers in the country. He knew that the prize for taking his firm to the top, especially after there were precious few ways in which any competitor could once again take back the top slot, even through mergers and acquisitions, was potentially enormous. In fact, with Bradesco’s many huge competitive advantages, such as already having large and successful business lines established in trading, financial planning and insurance, once the firm gained uncontested supremacy, the only thing it would really have to fear is government intervention in the form of antitrust actions.
Trabuco Cappi himself had gained a reputation as a formidable player in the banking space. Over a career of more than 45 years, the CEO had risen from the lowliest teller job at the bank all the way to its most exalted post. As he rose through the ranks, he converted every department he touched into enormously profitable businesses for his firm. Indeed, after spending his entire career, from his first job to the present, with Bradesco, Trabuco Cappi had become somewhat of a legend within the company.
It was because of his cultivation as a banker who could accomplish almost anything that few were really surprised when, in 2015, Bradesco announced that it had completed the purchase of all the assets of HSBC Brazil, one of the largest banks in the country, with more than 28,000 employees and nearly 2,000 branches. This was a huge coup for Trabuco Cappi and Bradesco, which had become the most important bank in Brazil, by many measures, in just one transaction. The deal was also the largest business transaction ever recorded in the country’s history. And it earned Trabuco Cappi the Isto E Dinheiro Entrepreneur of the Year Award for 2015.
Bradesco was now positioned to make a run for undisputed supremacy in the Brazilian financial space. With the most branches of any bank, the most money on deposit and the most money in outstanding loans, Bradesco is already the country’s banking leader in many categories. With over $400 million in assets, it trails just behind chief rival Itau Unibanco. But if its CEO’s track record is any guide, its rival had better watch out.
Trabuco Cappi has a well-earned reputation for setting goals and achieving them. Over the next few years, the inveterate banker will be interesting to watch. If he can propel Bradesco to genuine monopoly status, he will surely go down in history as one of the greatest Brazilian businessmen of all time.
Learn more about Luiz Carlos Trabuco Cappi: http://www.tostoadv.com/bradesco-quer-mudar-regra-para-trabuco-ficar-no-cargo/