According to Igor Cornelsen, it’s better to make a decision based on facts, rather than opinions, which is why the Brazilian-born investment banker is not easily influenced. Cornelsen was born in Curitiba, Brazil in 1947 and despite being raised with humble beginnings, he has been able to become a leading expert on financial business affairs throughout the entire world.
It all began for Cornelsen when he attended the Federal University of Parana, which at the time was the only school in Parana that offered an engineering program. However, two years into the program, Cornelsen discovered that economics was his true calling in life. The fateful decision to study economics at the same university was a pivotal point in his life and has made an indelible difference in the financial dealings of major businesses, for decades.
Cornelsen’s career as an investment banker includes a position with Multibanco, which eventually was acquired by Bank of America. It was during his tenure with Multibanco that he was appointed Chief Executive Officer and eventually voted to be on the board of directors. He later accepted a position with Unibanco, which at the time was ranked as one of the leading investment firms throughout Brazil. From there, Cornelsen chose a position with London Merchant Bank’s subsidiary, Libra Bank PLC.
With any successful career, there are lessons learned. In 2007, Cornelsen says he learned a valuable lesson when he didn’t sell all the shares in commodities. “One has to sell what it is expensive and to keep what to buy, what it is cheap. In 2007, I did the opposite, believing I was being conservative,” said Cornelsen. Overcoming that experience left Cornelsen with a new mindset, which is to “look to the world as a whole, instead of small pieces.”
Cornelsen doesn’t necessarily follow a specific strategy for helping businesses grow, but he does have a precise way of determining what assets will depreciate before others, which is one of the many reasons he has become a subject matter expert on investing. When asked what excites him today, Cornelsen said, “When I perceive, before other participants, a new trend that will change the market.”