A Frenchman born and bred, Paul Gannay joined Banque de l’Indochine upon completing his legal doctorate in 1906. Starting from the lowest of rungs, his career was later to flourish to the highest levels of responsibility, and see him named head of the Saigon branch in 1920 and Chief Internal Auditor for the bank in 1926. As auditor for all network head offices, his role was also to maintain the bank's relations with the very highest local authorities.
Drawing on his many talents, Paul Gannay played an active part in the economic development of the colony where he also served as Red Cross Delegate for Indochina. During the 1930s, he played a decisive role in the service of the Indochina economy as it threatened to collapse during the Great Depression, as well as intervening later on to allow the Bank to retain its independence under the Japanese invasion and the Indochina war.
The fact that Paul Gannay remains etched in the minds of many is also because of his unique personality. Generally kitted out in shorts and sandals despite his elite standing in Saigon society, he actually led a very simple life … even if he did have a black panther as a permanent house guest.