Make businesses and the territory grow

Glenda Braendli, USI graduate
Glenda Braendli, USI graduate

Institutional Communication Service

23 November 2017

A university in tune with modern times is able to act as a public service, to serve the people, and to have an impact on the economic tissue where its roots lie. USI does all of this in different ways, through innovative scientific research that can also be useful to the public, through cultural events, by supporting entrepreneurship and, most of all, by offering high quality education to the young generation, who will eventually become future entrepreneurs and professionals, and will contribute to the growth of our business and our territory. A concrete example of this dynamic is Glenda Braendli, 2003 USI graduate in Economics, and currently head of the PricewaterhouseCoopers SA (PwC) Ticino’s branch. We asked her a couple of questions on her journey, on the challenges, and on the opportunities of our Canton.


How was studying at USI?

I have many fond memories of my experience at USI. I believe that our university provides excellent foundations for a solid career development. I am sure that a degree is never the finishing line, rather a key step in someone’s professional growth. That is what USI meant to me.


Why did you choose to work for PwC Switzerland, and what is your role in the company today?

My first professional experiences allowed me to unfold my passion for financial audit, a field in which PwC Switzerland is leader. PwC Switzerland is also a dynamic and innovative company, which believes and invests on young people, and offers great opportunities at a local, Swiss and international level. I am the living proof: I made partner when I was only 34 years old, and since last year I am managing a sector, the Assurance Academy, which includes over 550 collaborators active in Auditing (financial, industrial, and in the field of informatics). I am also head of the Lugano branch and of its 50 collaborators, and I assisting my clients who are mostly active in the financial sector in Ticino and Geneva.


In 2003 you graduated with your thesis “Governance models and succession in family business. A comparative analysis between Ticino and Italy”. From your experience in these past years, how has our Canton changed from your first analysis?  

Family businesses are still great assets for our Canton, which can benefit from the competitive advantages thanks to its stability, to its geographical position, and to its taxation system. Concerning the banking sector, there has been a natural radical transformation. We witnessed a painful downturn of the sector, but also a consolidation that made it smaller yet more stable, reliable and competitive.


You also attended the Liceo Lugano1. Do you believe that our school system as a whole is in tune with the world of the economy?

Yes, I believe so. Our true strength in Switzerland lies in our dual school system, which allows people to follow different paths. On the one hand vocational schools combined with apprenticeships, on the other hand a path oriented towards education which culminates with the admission to the university. In my case I always knew what to choose. I believe that both paths are important in different ways for our economy.