Luiz Carlos Trabuco has been with Banco Bradesco in the capacity of President, a position that translates equally to most roles of Chief Executive Officer, for eight years. Bradesco and Mr. Trabuco were born eight years apart, coincidentally enough, both in the city of Marília, having transformed from a dull city to one vibrant with life in past six to seven decades, currently bustling with nearly a quarter-million Brazilians.
The 65-year-old Mr. Trabuco is known by many Brazilian citizens and bankers across the globe for his involvement in Banco Bradesco’s $5.2 billion purchase of HSBC Holdings’ Brazilian banking network. Although $5.2 billion is unarguably a ton – literally and figuratively – of money, although the like-on-like acquisition held high utility for Brazil in multiple ways. However, Mr. Trabuco faced opposition from some within Bradesco and critics all over South America prior to the deal taking place, testing the Bradesco executive to make a good decision despite what others recommended. As the past two years have clearly identified, the acquisition of HSBC Brazil was highly beneficial for Bradesco. Here’s how it played out, and why Luiz Carlos Trabuco was tempted to go through with the acquisition.
With rival Itaú Unibanco becoming the largest bank in Brazil strictly through the merger that created it, making the HSBC acquisition attractive to Bradesco. There was also a chance of other banks in Brazil other than these top two performers, Itaú Unibanco and Bradesco, that could have acquired HSBC and became larger than before. Similarly, Itaú Unibanco could have purchased HSBC’s assets itself. HSBC’s Brazilian banking network was the only financial institution large enough to be worth its acquisition at the time; besides, banking networks often aren’t up for sale, spurring Bradesco’s management team, led by Luiz Carlos Trabuco, to promptly consider its possibilities. Even further, HSBC Brazil had been failing in recent years due to lack of proper management and familiarity with the Brazilian banking industry. With HSBC Holdings’ headquarters located in London, England, it was difficult for its executives to actively manage its branches, let alone check up on its performance.
All these factors combined created a perfect storm in which Banco Bradesco could profit from purchasing HSBC’s South American nexus of financial institutions. After Luiz Carlos Trabuco had contemplated the possible benefits of acquiring HSBC Brazil in the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2014, Mr. Trabuco had forwarded all necessary paperwork, contract forms, and other documentation for HSBC Holdings to complete their purchase, contemporary Chairman of the Board of Directors Lázaro Brandão provided his stamp of approval shortly after receiving formal notice from his Presidential successor Luiz Carlos Trabuco. Then they waited.
Although it took until the first quarter of 2016 for HSBC Holdings’ executory team and legal councilmen to finalize the sale, at this point, Bradesco’s spot as the second-largest financial institution in Brazil was firmly solidified, inching it closer to the regaining its former title as the king of Brazil’s financial sector.
Luiz Carlos Trabuco kicked his career into action by attending the University of São Paulo for a bachelor’s degree in philosophy, capping his time there off with a postgraduate degree in socio-psychology, both of which improved his already-high talents in communicating with others. Mr. Trabuco’s first job was with Bradesco in both parties’ hometown, Marília, as a teller. Two years passed, after which Mr. Trabuco moved nearly 300 miles back to São Paulo to work at Bradesco’s modern headquarters in 1971.
He filled various positions over the years, most notably being President of Bradesco’s insurance group, as well as President of its pension subsidiary. After 11 years of him accepting his first intracompany Presidential role, Luiz Carlos Trabuco was named President of Bradesco’s whole institution in 2008.