Carlo Pernsch

August 7, 1894 - April 24, 1983
From Zurich and Lugano
Born and Deceased in Lugano, son of Carlo Enrico Pernsch, banker and of Giuseppina Induni.
Primary School at the Istituto Landriani (Lugano).
Degree in Accounting and Economics (Schaffhausen)
Married in London May 3rd, 1924

Professional Activities:
1919-1936: New York-London-New York
Banca Commerciale Italiana (Comit)
1936-1956: Zurich
Director of the Branch of the BSI-Banca della Svizzera Italiana
1956-1966: Lugano
CEO of the BSI-Banca della Svizzera Italiana
1966-1974: Lugano
President of the Board of Directors of the BSI-Banca della Svizzera Italiana
1974-1983: Honorary President of the BSI-Banca della Svizzera Italiana
Infantry Officer in the Swiss Army
“Commendatore” of the Italian Republic (1966)

Célestine Pernsch

July 27,1896 - January 7, 1989
Born in Bern and Deceased in Lugano
Daughter of Alessandro Verna, architect, and of Adelaide Burzio

Brief description of the life of Carlo Pernsch

Carlo Pernsch, born in Lugano August 7th, 1894, was a  well known banker, intimately connected to the oldest bank in Ticino, the Banca della Svizzera Italiana (BSI SA), of which,  following in his father’s footsteps, he was Director, Managing Director (CEO), President of the Board of Directors, and Honorary President until his death on April 24th, 1983.

After his studies and active military service during the First World War, Pernsch learned the banking business in New York in the 1920’s during the post-war economic boom, at the Banca Commerciale Italiana (which was at the time a major shareholder of BSI). Still with Comit, he was transferred to London, and then back to New York, where he met his wife Célestine and worked as a high-level bank director during the years of crisis and the great depression. In 1936 Pernsch opened a branch of the Banca della Svizzera Italiana in Zurich and acted indirectly for the Italian shareholder during the difficult years of fascist autarchy, sanctions, the war and post-war reconstruction.

He returned to Lugano in 1956 as Managing Director, what today would be called the CEO, of the BSI, leading the bank through its rapid development from a small local institution to one operating at the national and international level.

In 1966 he became president of the Board of Directors of the BSI and subsequently honorary president. During these important years and in the course of this successful career, Pernsch lived modestly, without ostentation, without seeking attention, without public appearances and glamour and without even leaving anything written.