Swiss citizen, Arnaud Leclercq is banker with an atypical background. “Humanist backpacker” his friends would say, he travels across Eurasia, the Near and the Middle East for over 25 years to meet leaders and entrepreneurs. He returns to these regions for less glamourous trips which may take him up to the Tien Shan “celestial” mountains.
Limited Partner and member of the Executive Board of the oldest Geneva based private bank, professor of geopolitics, author, investor, he is in addition much committed to a circular bio-economy and for a more harmonious management of forestry and wildlife.
PhD summa cum laude from Sorbonne University, MBA from HEC Paris, graduated from Harvard Business School (General Manager Program) and from law faculty of Paris Assas.
His book “Russia, a Eurasian Power. History of Russian Geopolitics from the origins to Putin” now recognized as a reference work was published in French (2013) and in Russian (2015) languages. Leclercq’s analysis and views in finance and geopolitics are regularly sought after by the media.
Born March 16th 1967 in a family originally from Burgundy, Arnaud Leclercq was raised on the shores of the Channel before boarding Stanislas College in Paris.
At a Paris law firm in the early nineties he is involved in the burgeoning M&A and joint ventures deals in Central Europe.
1991 Moscow Putsch
1993 putsch attempt in Moscow
At 25, he decides to set up his own consulting firm in Moscow with a bias to provide legal advice to international corporations. Ultimately they demand to package new large offices to conquer the Russian market and Leclercq’s firm thus provided services to groups such as Unilever, Microsoft, Digital Equipment, Schlumberger, Lazard and others (see Le Nouvel Observateur, The Moscow Times and more). These years are shaken by two “coups d’Etat” attempts and a high level of insecurity. At the same time, a big breath of an exceptional feeling of freedom, open to wild entrepreneurship and true friendship built in difficult times.
After planning the succession of this fast growing business he gets married and joins the MBA of HEC Paris.
Upon graduation Leclercq joins the construction conglomerate Bouygues International. During this period, he took part in challenging assignments in Poland and in Turkmenistan where he also was an Advisor to the Office of the President for international contracts. It is in this peculiar environment that he gets acquainted with the “Great Game” of geopolitics and its condensed regional ingredients: oil, pipelines, Caucasus, Iran, Afghanistan, Caspian Sea or lake…
Back in Moscow in February 1998, he witnesses the August 17 default of the Russian Federation and its catastrophic consequences: predatory capitalism by certain oligarchs, autism of some international financial organizations, impoverishment of middle classes and worse. Still, he senses that despite the “Russian bashing” voiced by the Western media the big Bear will soon wake-up and bounce back to become again the major power it once was.
In 2000, Leclercq relocates to Switzerland as he was invited to join Credit Suisse as a private banker where he shortly after became one the 20 most senior Managing Directors.
In the new world order setting the stage before us, it is not only sufficient to try to understand but it is in a sense a duty to “transmit” to a new generation eager to access a supplementary reading grid. After giving conferences occasionally in several international forums, institutes of foreign affairs, universities and military academy (France, Switzerland, Russia, Czech Rep., UAE), Leclercq was invited in 2013 to lecture geopolitics at HEC Paris School of Management. Thanks to an outstanding student body, it is both a privilege and a challenge. Since then and every year, Leclercq’s class at the MBA earned acclaim from the students. HEC Paris is systematically ranked among the very top of Europe’s most prestigious academic institutions. In 2019, The Economist ranked its MBA as world’s number three and the Financial Times # 1 Business School in Europe.
Now, he is dedicated only to HEC Paris students to whom he has been teaching geopolitics since 2014.
Married to a painter, the couple have four children. Despite many trips to countries whose cultures he greatly appreciates and where he enjoys strong friendships, he remains very attached to his roots and devotes his leisure time to outdoor activities in the magnificent Valais mountains or under the sun of the northern Brittany.
Harvard Club Switzerland, Swiss Who’s Who
Helvetia et Advisor Chairman SCI Europe
Club des Bio-économistes
Anciens de Stan
Le Keréden - Institut de Locarn
La Demeure Historique
Comité des Forêts