Throughout the last 35 years, two names have been largely responsible for shaping the corporate culture of Brazilian banking giant Bradesco. Lazaro Brandao, the long-serving chairman of the bank, and Luiz Carlos Trabuco Cappi, the currently acting CEO, have done more than, perhaps, any two people in the history of the firm to build the bank into the modern powerhouse of Brazilian finance that it has become.
Both Trabuco Cappi and Brandao have been staunch advocates for the use and innovation of technology. Even though both men are from eras not normally associated with tech savvy, with Trabuco Cappi having recently turned 67 and Brandao going on 92, both have been some of the most forward-looking drivers of technological adoption at the bank. Throughout the 90s, Brandao was one of the main factors behind the bank becoming among the first in Latin America to roll out a fully functional online banking platform. As CEO, Trabuco Cappi has done a great deal to bring Bradesco’s customer base online.
This strong belief in technology has led both Brandao and Trabuco Cappi to make statements that one of the main challenges for the bank and the Brazilian economy as a whole over the next few years will be to get as many of the country’s citizens online and as technologically literate as possible.
Trabuco Cappi has stated that, of the bank’s approximately 27 million customers, more than 13 million are currently either not able to connect to the internet due to lack of connectivity or are effectively technologically illiterate. Both he and Brandao have identified this as a major issue, and both have repeatedly stated that they plan to devise concrete initiatives to combat technological illiteracy and lack of connectivity across the company’s customer base.
Brandao’s departure marks the end of an era
Few people have had careers as long and successful as that of Lazaro Brandao. The 75-year veteran of the bank first came to work for Bradesco in 1943, when he was just 16 years old. He was able to make a strong impression on his superiors, quickly rising up the corporate ladder and given ever-increasing responsibilities according to banco.bradesco. He proved hiself to be a capable employee and naturally gifted leader. By 1981, he was being considered as the bank’s next CEO.
Over the 1980s, Brandao pursued a strategy of aggressive growth, bringing the bank from the position of a relatively obscure local concern throughout the city of Marilia to become a major regional player throughout the state of Sao Paulo. In 1990, he was appointed as chairman of the board, a position that he held in concurrence with that of CEO between 1990 and 1999. This was the only time in the history of the bank in which one person held both the office of chairman of the board and that of CEO at the same time on anything longer than a short, temporary basis.
Over the 1990s and 2000s, Brandao continued to be instrumental in shaping the vision of the firm and the strategic direction in which it was steered. Between 1990 and 2009, the bank’s stock price increased by a factor of more than 300 times. This not only marked the period of the most fantastic growth in the history of the company, but it also marked one of the most explosive rises of any company in the history of Brazilian business.
For these reasons, many shareholders in the firm cannot imagine a Bradesco without the leadership of Lazaro Brandao at its helm. However, Brandao himself has repeatedly stated that Luiz Carlos Trabuco Cappi is the only man in the world who is truly qualified to fill the large shoes that his absence will leave empty.
For more information about Luiz Carlos Trabuco Cappi, just visit g1.globo.com