Luiz Carlos Trabuco has had an inspiring career. Starting from the lowest rungs of the corporate ladder, he is one of the few people who was able to rise all the way to the top, not just of his firm but of the entire global finance industry. This story may inspire those who would like to believe that it is still possible for wide swathes of the population to achieve wild success through nothing but their wits and strong work ethic. But upon closer inspection, we see some very unique contours emerge from the Trabuco story. We even see Trabuco himself becoming an agent of the brand of globalism that would make a repeat of his own rise very unlikely today.
From Mail Room To Board Room
Few people in the modern business world can claim to have risen as fast and as high as Luiz Carlos Trabuco. Born in 1952, in Marilia, Sao Paulo, Trabuco was raised in a lower-middle-class household, in a family that was comfortable but by no means well off. After graduating high school in 1969, Trabuco needed to find his first job. He had dreams of attending college and getting an advanced degree someday. But he lacked the funds to put himself through college. Like many students of his generation, he would need to work his way through his studies.
He applied to and was hired at what was, at that time, still a two-branch, small-town bank. Bradesco had been founded 25 years earlier, in the same town of Marilia, where Trabuco was born. Trabuco surprised his superiors with his strong work ethic, administrative talent and seemingly limitless capacity to learn new jobs and skills. By the end of his first year with the bank, he was already a branch manager.
Over the course of the ’70s, Trabuco continues rising through the corporate hierarchy. During this time, he was also able to realize his goal of putting himself through college. By the end of the 1970s, Trabuco had a bachelor’s degree in business administration and a master’s degree in social psychology. He had, by now, amassed an impressive resume, working in nearly every business line that the bank offered. In 1984, he was handed his first executive role.
As head of the corporation’s marketing department, Trabuco was able to prove his executive acumen and significantly improve the way in which the bank marketed itself to the public. His superiors were impressed, and by 1992, he was again tapped for a promotion.
This time, he was given the reins of the firm’s struggling financial planning division. It was here that the extent to which Trabuco had internalized the globalist ethos first became apparent. By this time, Trabuco was an expert in international finance and had long been familiar with the banking models used by some of the most prestigious U.S. banks. He immediately moved to scrap Bradesco’s old, one-size-fits-all banking model and aggressively started marketing to high-net-worth clients.
Some say that, during this period, the quality of banking for the average customer suffered. What is not in doubt is that the efforts to recruit rich clients, through the use of such things as 24/7 personal bankers, separate, luxury facilities and lavish rewards, turned out to be a smashing success. By 2003, the financial planning division had increased revenues by more than ten times. Trabuco was now regarded as a virtual miracle worker.
He would go on to begin recruiting all managerial talent from outside the bank and begin requiring even low-level employees to have college degrees. While there is no doubt these measures have been a huge success for the bank, there is supreme irony in the recognition that, if he were to apply today as an unqualified 18 year old, Trabuco himself would likely not even get an interview.
Learn more about Luis Carlos Trabuco: http://www1.folha.uol.com.br/mercado/2016/09/1810520-bradesco-quer-manter-trabuco-na-presidencia-por-mais-dois-anos.shtml