It has been recently announced that major changes are coming to the C-suite of Bradesco, one of the largest banks in Brazil. Luiz Carlos Trabuco will be stepping aside as CEO in order to replace the company’s outgoing chairman of the board, Lazaro Brandao.
The announcement comes on the heels of a spectacular year for the bank. After having completed the acquisition of HSBC Brazil in 2015, the last two years have been a flurry of activity for the bank. Leading it all has been Trabuco, with the steady hand and visionary genius of a leader who has been battle-tested in the field of one of the most competitive banking markets on Earth.
But now, Trabuco has passed the maximum age to stay on as CEO. The 67-year-old has been continuing on with the express permission of the board of directors, who has made an exception allowing him to stay. This has been done so that he could carry out the final flourishes on the HSBC deal, a situation of which only he has the requisite knowledge with which to guide the bank.
Trabuco’s departure for the chairmanship will entail his needing to appoint his own successor. He has been given until March of 2018 to complete the process, a time frame that Trabuco says he will take full advantage of. Although there were rumors at first that Trabuco may be looking to candidates outside the firm as a potential source of replacements, he put those rumors to rest, stating explicitly that he would not be breaking from company tradition on the appointment of the next executive. Ever since its founding, Bradesco has always recruited its upper-level managers from within its own ranks. It appears that Trabuco will not be the first to break with that practice.
That leaves open questions as to who will ultimately replace Trabuco. Although there are seven candidates who are qualified, at least in theory, to become the next CEO of Bradesco, those close to the process say that there are only two likely candidates.
The first is Alexandre Gluher, the firm’s 57-year-old chief risk officer. Gluher has been with the bank for nearly his entire career, giving him a huge seniority advantage over the other candidates. But those who are familiar with Trabuco say that he is not a believer in soft performance metrics like seniority or credentials. Instead, Trabuco is often described as a ruthless meritocrat, willing to promote almost anyone of any background so long as they can demonstrate superior abilities.
That means that the more likely candidate to land the job of CEO will be Mauricio Minas. Minas, 56, has only been with the company for about five years. But in that time, he has been responsible for the creation of the wildly successful Next online banking platform. So successful has this project been that it was eventually spun off into its own company.
Minas was also the one who oversaw the full integration of all of HSBC’s tech assets into the Bradesco systems. This was a job that lasted a full two years and without which Bradesco would not have been able to successfully complete the acquisition.
Those who know Trabuco say that the appointment of Minas is made even more likely due to Trabuco’s high degree of enthusiasm for everything technological. Trabuco was one of the bank’s earliest proponents of adopting online banking products, leading to Bradesco becoming one of the first banks in Latin America to have a fully functional online banking platform.
All told, Minas is now being named the overwhelming favorite to snatch the spot of CEO.