Luiz Carlos Trabuco Cappi at first seems like an unlikely candidate to helm Bradesco, one of Brazil’s largest banks. Born in the town of Marília, he graduated with a master’s degree in social psychology from the the São Paulo Fundação Escola of Sociology and Politics.
He began working for Bradesco in 1969 as a humble clerk. In 2009, the company was presented with a problem when the previous CEO, Márcio Cypriano, turned 65; according to company policy, executives must step down after the age of 65. Luiz Carlos Trabuco Cappi was on the list of probable successors that industry analysts were compiling. José Luiz Acar Pedro, the head of the company’s investment banking group, was also considered a likely candidate, as was Roger Agnelli, the president of Brazilian mining company Vale. However, in January 2009 Bradesco announced that the 57-year-old would take the helm as the company’s fourth CEO.
Despite his humble beginnings, Luiz Carlos Trabuco Cappi is no stranger to the inner workings of Bradesco. After starting his career as a clerk, he eventually worked his way up through the company. He entered his first high-profile position in 1999 when he became executive vice president of Bradesco. He then achieved additional success as president of Bradesco Seguros, the company’s insurance subsidiary. Under his leadership from 2003 to 2009, Bradesco Seguros’ revenue was increased until it consisted of 30% of Bradesco’s total earnings. This progress led the way for his appointment as CEO in 2009.
After becoming CEO, Luiz Carlos Trabuco Cappi immediately sought to revolutionize the company’s management structure. He became famous for holding “open mic” events, where executives were invited to discuss new ideas and strategies at shareholder meetings. He also focused on attracting new executive talent to the company, such as Bank of America alumnus Renato Ejnisman, who was appointed executive director of Bradesco BBI in 2015. In 2015, under his leadership, Bradesco purchased the Brazilian branch of HSBC for $5.2 billion. This transaction was the biggest of 2015 in the Brazilian market, effectively achieving six years of growth in one business deal. The same year, Dilma Rousseff—then president of Brazil—asked him to be her new finance minister. However, he declined the offer, citing his desire to stay at Bradesco.
His typical work day lasts 13 hours, from 6:00 am to 7:00 pm. He reportedly earns a salary of $1 million per month. However, he has followed the example of his predecessor Márcio Cypriano; Luiz Carlos Trabuco Cappi is well known for his low-key lifestyle, dressing conservatively and avoiding ostentatious displays of wealth.
Luiz Carlos Trabuco Cappi and Bradesco face challenges ahead as the Brazilian market expands and the company seeks to open additional branches. He is poised to receive even more responsibilities in the future. Industry experts have speculated that he is the likely successor to Bradesco’s current Chairman of the Board, Lázaro de Mello Brandão. At 92 years of age, Brandãois is one of the oldest banking executives in the world, and he is expected to retire soon.