(Changes dateline to Sao Paulo, adds details on succession race at Bradesco, details throughout)
By Guillermo Parra-Bernal, Tatiana Bautzer and Jeb Blount
SAO PAULO, Nov 11 (Reuters) - Marco Antonio Rossi, the top executive at the insurance arm of Brazil’s second largest private lender Banco Bradesco SA, was killed in a plane crash on Tuesday, two people with knowledge of the matter told Reuters.
Rossi, 54, was aboard a Cessna Citation VII jet traveling from Brasilia to São Paulo when it crashed in central Brazil, they said, adding that the plane belonged to Banco Bradesco.
Lúcio Flávio Condouro de Oliveira, who led Bradesco Seguros’ life insurance and retirement business, was also killed, the sources said. They declined to be named as they were not authorised to speak to the media.
Brazil’s Air Force said four people were aboard the plane when it disappeared from radar on Tuesday evening near the border between the states of Goias and Minas Gerais. Two of the plane’s occupants were pilots, officials said.
Rossi was seen as the most likely successor to Luiz Carlos Trabuco, chief executive officer of Banco Bradesco .
Rossi replaced Trabuco as head of Bradesco Seguros when Trabuco was tapped for the top job at the bank in 2009. Under Bradesco rules, executives must retire at the age of 65. Trabuco will turn 65 in October 2016.
Founded in 1935, Bradesco Seguros is Brazil’s largest insurer and generates about one-third of Banco Bradesco’s annual profit. It has for years been a platform for executives to climb up the corporate ladder at the parent company.
In his post, Rossi created new products for low-income families and diversified into reinsurance and corporate products. He told investors last month that Bradesco Seguros could offset the impact of Brazil’s recession on profit through a sharp focus on high-margin segments.
Rossi was also working on the potential sale of Bradesco Seguros’ high-risk insurance portfolio and on the company’s sponsorship of the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, one of the sources said.
The O Globo newspaper reported on its website that firefighters at the crash site said there were no survivors. (Editing by Kieran Murray and Ken Wills)