Luiz Carlos Trabuco is not letting the press get in his way. Mr. Trabuco knows how to deal with the media when there is a news spotlight shining on the bank. Bradesco is a newsmaker in Brazil, and the recent changes in the upper management at the bank is big news. The fact that Lázaro de Mello Brandão is calling it quits after 75 years is certainly newsworthy.
But naming Trabuco Chairman of the Board wasn’t a surprise. Most of the members of the press knew Trabuco was in line to be Chairman because his age was getting in the way. Bradesco has an age cap on the CEO position, and Luiz Carlos Trabuco was crossing the threshold of that cap. The new CEO, Octavio de Lazari is 54-years-old, so he is well below the 65-year-old age cap. Overall, the news of the shakeup at Bradesco was positive. Shareholders were in agreement at the March 12th annual meeting. Lazari has the qualifications, and the banking no how to replace Trabuco as CEO. Octavio de Lazari has a reputation for putting income on the bank’s balance sheet. While he was president of Seguros, Bradesco’s money-making insurance division, Mr. Lazari gave Bradesco 30 percent of the reported income in 2017.
But Luiz Carlos Trabuco knew Lazari was the man for the job before the shareholders confirmed his nomination. Lazari became a bank trainee in 1978 when Lázaro de Mello Brandão and founder Amador Aguiar decided to give him a job. Trabuco was a trainee in 1969, so both men know bank operations inside and out. Bradesco likes to promote from within, so good people usually think twice before they leave the bank. Plus, the banking atmosphere at Bradesco is more about working as a team rather than having one person that shines above all others. The bank’s shareholders made that point clear when they added four vice-presidents to the bank’s Board of Directors.
Lazari’s promotion left a hole in the management team at Seguros, but Lazari didn’t waste any time filling that hole with another seasoned banker. Vinicius Almeida Albernaz is the new Seguros president. According to Trabuco and Lazari, Mr. Albernaz fits the Bradesco executive mold, so the current income projections and mission are still in place.
According to jusbrasil.com.br, Bradesco’s stock is down, but it is well above the 2017 low because investors don’t know what will happen in the upcoming presidential election. There are many Brazilians who still want Lula as president. If former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva becomes president once again, no one is sure what that will mean for Brazil’s struggling economy. Lula is a popular political figure in Brazil, so investors know anything can happen in this ever-changing Latin America country.
But Octavio de Lazari isn’t focusing on Lula at the moment. He is focusing on closing more unprofitable bank branches and giving more Brazilians an opportunity to borrow more money now that interest rates are lower.