Quite often, making it in business is about being the first. The business that arrives at a certain technology or launches a certain product first typically establishes a significant lead over the competition. Consequently, innovation occupies a central role in any successful business.
Brazilian bank, Bradesco has been the first to many things in the Brazilian financial industry. The bank is famous for becoming the first bank in Latin America to buy a computer, in 1962. It was also the first bank in the country to introduce the credit card, in 1968. The man pushing the boundaries at the bank is Luiz Carlos Trabuco Cappi. Over the last seven years, he has brought new ideas to the bank that have paid off greatly, cementing its position as the second largest player in the private banking sector.
By the time Luiz Carlos Trabuco Cappi retires at Bradesco, he will have spent five decades at the bank. That is the duration of his entire adulthood. Born in 1951 in the small city of Marilia, he joined Bradesco as a clerk in 1969. Consequently, it is safe to say that the bank has brought him up. At the age of 33, he was named the bank’s marketing director, thus becoming one of the youngest department directors the company has ever had. Again in 1999, aged 47, he was the youngest in a pool of candidates being considered to be named the bank’s president. While the position went to Marcio Cypriano, Luiz Carlos Trabuco Cappi was promoted to become the vice president of insurance subsidiary, Bradesco Seguros. Four years later he was named the company’s president, a position he served in for six years. After impressing immensely at the insurer, he was in 2009 selected by the board to become the bank’s next president.
The primary growth strategy employed by Brazilian banks before Luiz Carlos Trabuco Cappi became president was acquisitions. For instance, in the 1970s Bradesco purchased up to 17 banks spread throughout the country. Again, between 2001 and 2004, Luiz Carlos Trabuco Cappi’s predecessor, Marcio Cypriano managed to grow the bank a great deal by acquiring up six mid-tier financial institutions in the country. In 2009, however, it was not tenable to grow a bank through acquisitions. Following the global financial crisis that had kicked off the previous year, there were almost no acquisition opportunities in Brazil and indeed the rest of the world. Consequently, Luiz Carlos Trabuco Cappi decided to go with a more organic growth strategy. As a result, Bradesco added about 200 new branch offices in 2009 alone.
Arguably the greatest bit of business conducted by Luiz Carlos Trabuco Cappi as the president of Bradesco was the acquisition of HSBC Brazil in 2015. While Bradesco had been engaged in organic growth efforts, it was a painstakingly slow process. Consequently, when Luiz Carlos Trabuco Cappi spotted the opportunity to grow the bank a lot quicker, he sanctioned the $5.2 billion acquisition deal. Not only did this deal save Bradesco considerable time in its expansion efforts, but it also drew it a lot closer towards unseating competitor, Itau Unibanco as the top private bank in the country. The deal also got Luiz Carlos Trabuco Cappi named the entrepreneur of the year in the finance category by Money Magazine.
In addition to innovation and loyalty, Luiz Carlos Trabuco Cappi has gotten to where he is today by being extremely dedicated. On an average day, he is at the office for at least 12 hours, often extending his work to business dinners.