Five Minutes With...Alice Yoo LeClair

Connex Staff |

In this article, we caught up with Alice Yoo LeClair, Divisional CHRO at Euromoney Institutional Investor PLC. From digital mentors to sapien evolution, Alice provides plenty of food for thought – and some laughs along the way.

What is your best leadership advice?

It’s your aptitude plus your attitude that sets you apart as a leader. These two things build the story of your personal brand and can accelerate your development over your peer group. This advice applies whether you have worked at an organization for two months or 25 years, whether you’re a senior leader or just taking the lead as a contributor in a meeting.

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If you could go back in time and meet your sixteen year-old self, what would you tell them?

Firstly, when you hear about this thing called ‘Bitcoin’ that goes for sale, buy it immediately in mass quantities! The second thing I would tell myself is ‘chin up’. Over the course of time, you will see a material shift when it comes to Asian inclusion and representation. There will even be an Asian superhero, Shang-Chi, brought to life on the big screen, in mainstream culture. It’s really tough now – but know that the world is going to learn faster, collaborate more and come together as a global community in the very near future.

What is the most-read book on your shelf?

Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari. I discovered this book through Bill Gates’ book blog, Gates Notes, and he cited it in a New York Times article as one of his favorite reads. The theories the author presents about why sapiens, of all the species that have inhabited this planet, have been able to develop enormous infrastructure, technologies, religions, governments and currencies are fascinating.

One of his theories is that as a species, our ability to imagine and apply our imagination to our real life circumstances is what enabled our brains to create all of these institutions. I recommend it to anyone who is curious as to how we went from hunter gatherers to doing things like cryptocurrency in the present day.

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What’s the one film, TV show or podcast you would urge every CHRO to check out, and why?

I have a different approach on this. I don’t actually have an HR industry-specific magazine or podcast that I regularly turn to. What I have curated for myself instead are ‘digital mentors’. In the HR and business worlds there are incredible leaders who, through their public content, answer questions and give advice on topics I would have asked them to elaborate on through those mentorship coffee sessions. It was through this curation of digital mentorship that I discovered my career aspiration to become a Chief Experience Officer. I got there from the online presence of an executive named Julie Larson-Green who held the role at Microsoft and Qualtrics.


What has the pandemic taught you?

The importance of taking a step back. The pandemic has taught me to think about short-term priorities and bite-sized wins. Yes, there is always a long-term strategy and long-term gains – but in the process of getting there, it’s really critical to take a step back and break things down into manageable pieces that we can execute.

What are the positives to come out of the pandemic from an HR perspective?

Wellbeing is gathering a lot of momentum. Before the pandemic, the focus for HR was ‘wellness’ – otherwise known as the prevention of illness. But wellbeing is the strategic, empathetic and holistic approach to being a human being at work and outside of work. The way the pandemic has literally put home life and work life under the same roof for nearly two years has, thankfully, made wellbeing our priority and accelerated the conversation around what flexible work can be without a loss of productivity.

What’s the one thing you could not go a day without?

My phone – it’s an appendage at this point. I’m trying to imagine how I would get through a 24- hour sequence without touching my phone once. I don’t see a way of that happening. Maybe as a personal challenge, I should go for it and see if I can do 24 hours without my phone.

Where is your favorite place in the world?

My favorite place to travel to is Kyoto in Japan. I have been there many times and will go many more times. It’s beautiful and peaceful, vibrant and exciting, modern and traditional. When we think of going to a different culture and feeling immersed, curious and delighted, Kyoto is a part of the world that satisfies all those things for me.

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Alice Yoo LeClair
Alice Yoo LeClair is the Chief Human Resources Officer for Euromoney PLC’s Financial & Professional Services division. She is responsible for leading talent management, DEI, recruitment and performance enablement initiatives, in alignment with the organization’s strategic objectives. In this capacity she also serves as a member of the division’s executive committee and the group’s HR leadership team.

Before joining Euromoney, Alice was the head of HR for the Americas GTM region and multiple product verticals at Refinitiv, a London Stock Exchange Group business. Previously, she held global people strategy and commercial program management roles at IPC Systems, IntelePeer and Level 3 Communications (now Lumen Technologies).

Alice has a bachelor’s degree in music from the University of Hartford where she double majored in Piano Performance and English. She also has a certificate in Plant-Based Nutrition from eCornell, Cornell University’s external education unit.

Alice Yoo LeClair