Luiz Carlos Trabuco Cappi ascended to top leadership at Bradesco, one of the largest Brazilian banking and insurance group, in March 2009. At the time, the firm was fighting to reclaim its number one position in the country’s banking and insurance market after Banco Itau and Unibanco- Bradesco’s main competitors- merged to form Itau Unibanco, overtaking Bradesco in the ranks. When Luiz came in as president and CEO, his first order of business was to galvanize the firm’s human resource towards realizing the many objectives that were unmet at the time. He, however, made it clear from the onset that he was not keen at dislodging Itau Unibanco from the top but instead was interested in offering the best services to all clients. In his view, being top of the banking rankings was not as important as being the best in service provision.
Fast forward to 2015 and the race for the top in Brazil’s private banking sector took shape- even as much as Luiz Carlos Trabuco Cappi denies any chances of his firm competing for the top position. Collaboration with Bradesco’s board chairman and former CEO Mr. Luiz and Lázaro Brandão, Luiz led the firm to the acquisition of HSBC’s Brazil branch. According to sources, the deal was worth $ 5.2 billion thus becoming the most lucrative business transaction in Brazil’s business sector for the year. The significance of the acquisition was that Bradesco’s business muscle in regards to loans granted, assets, deposits, branch network, total investment funds, and most importantly, number of account holders was boosted in a big way. As a result, the firm moved within a reaching distance of its main competitor. Bradesco overtook Itau Unibanco in some aspects such as branch network and total investment funds.
Speaking after finalizing the acquisition deal, Luiz Carlos Trabuco Cappi said that even though he prefers an organic type of growth, the process is time-consuming. He said that purchasing HSBC helped Bradesco to achieve in one go what would have taken it a minimum of six years to achieve. He also revealed that the deal was to be approved in 2016 by regulatory agencies to take full effect. Due to this achievement, MONEY recognized Luiz with the Entrepreneur of the Year in the Finance 2015 award.
Luiz’s Early Career
Luiz Carlos Trabuco Cappi started impressing in the business world right from his teenage days. After completing his undergraduate studies at the University of São Paulo, he was employed at Bradesco in 1969- he was only 18 then. As of then, the banking firm had operated in Brazil’s banking and finance sector for 26 years. What that meant was that Luiz got an opportunity of learning from experienced professionals such as Amador Aguiar, Bradesco’s founder and first CEO.
After serving in different capacities at the firm such as marketing, Luiz was appointed to head the Bradesco Seguros in 2003. During his 6-year stay in that position, he was able to make notable positive changes, which increased profits. Since then until today, long after Luiz left, the insurance arm of Bradesco contributes to nearly a third of the company’s total profits. It was also during that period that Luiz Carlos Trabuco Cappi won the Insurance Personality of the Year award two times: in 2003 and 2007. One of the main reasons he was awarded was his contribution towards the growth of Brazil’s insurance sector.
What the Future Holds
Prior to his appointment to the CEO and president position, Luiz Carlos Trabuco Cappi had served for six years as Bradesco’s vice president. The chances are that he will be given a senior position in the Brazilian government after retiring from Bradesco, with rumors suggesting that President Dilma Rousseff is interested in having Luiz serve as a minister in the Ministry of Finance.