COVER STORY: Back to the Future

Nov 1, 2008

Long seen as a conservative bank, Bradesco has rebuffed critics with an impressive run for the top. Bold acquisitions and quick decision-making contribute to its success.

by Dan Shirai 

As the global financial system is ripped apart by the worst crisis it has seen in 70 years, a knee-jerk revulsion to complexity and risk favors conservative institutions with scale and track record. When the dust settles, winners will be those plodding along in less glamorous markets, incrementally forging market share and tapping into long term trends in countries where significant fundamental strength lies behind technical trading mayhem.

In Latin America, one financial institution is poised to emerge victorious through its focus on the high growth potential middle and low income segments of Brazil’s population. Banco Bradesco is the LatinFinance Bank of the Year.

“Over the past few years our strategy has been to fill all the spaces,” Marcio Cypriano, CEO of Bradesco, tells LatinFinance in a September interview. The bank has entered new businesses, including retail brokerage and investment banking, as well as...

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