Igor Cornelsen was born in Curitiba, Brazil in 1947. He attended the Federal University of Parana School of Engineering in 1965. It was the only engineering school that offered courses in Santa Catarina and the Parana States at that time. There was a lot of competition to enter the school, so it was difficult for Igor to get in. After two years of engineering school, he changed directions and studied economics instead at the same location as the University of Parana. In 1970, he finished his courses and started working for an investment bank. This change was a common practice for many engineering students.
Because the skills the engineering students had of computing, and there were no calculators and computers readily available, it was more of exceptional ability. Igor Cornelsen became invincible in his department at the bank and became an investment banker. Only four short years later, in 1974, he would get to sit on the board of directors for Multibanco. For two years he held the title of Chief Executive Officer, and more doors opened when Bank of America bought Multibanco in 1978. The opportunity came in the form of Unibanco, which was one of the head investment corporations in Brazil. While inflation was skyrocketing in the mid-80’s, Igor decided to leave.
Igor went to work for a London Merchant Bank called Libra Bank PLC. This was the first time he received payment in American currency, and because of the change, he had several investment prospects. Igor Cornelsen worked several years for London Bank, and he and other colleagues relocated to Standard Chartered Merchant Bank. He worked as a board member and was a delegate for his home country of Brazil. When he left Standard Chartered Merchant Bank in 1995, he established and created his very own firm.