At 32 years old, Shi Mei Chin has already made quite a name for herself in the fintech sector. A former Big Four auditor, she is currently the Chief Financial Officer for Spark Systems Pte Ltd., a deep-tech foreign exchange trading platform that is based in Singapore. Over the years, her work has garnered significant industry attention. In 2019, she was awarded a Top 50 FinTech Leaders Asia Award and she has also previously been included in the Top 30 Under 30 FinTech Leaders list.
Chin's path to becoming an acclaimed C-suite executive started early. Growing up, her mother was a successful business owner and served as a strong role model. When Chin arrived at the University of Melbourne, she chose accounting and finance because she wanted to sharpen her understanding of successful businesses. It was during her college years that she really began assuming leadership roles away from the classroom, serving as Vice President of her university’s dancesport club. After earning a bachelor's in commerce, she became a chartered accountant of Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand, setting the stage for her journey in auditing and accounting.
Chin started her career by working in high-profile firms. After serving as an auditor in EY Malaysia, she then moved over to PwC Singapore to work in financial services audit, assurance banking, and capital markets. It was during this time at PwC that Chin encountered a promising new startup named Spark Systems Pte Ltd. – which convinced her to trade the structure and certainty of a Big Four firm for the opportunity of joining a potentially game-changing company in fintech.
It's been nearly five years since Chin joined Spark Systems, and she shows no signs of slowing down. In her current position, she is in charge of all aspects of financial and accounting processes: from budgeting to capital fundraising. Her CFO duties also make her responsible for managing potential and existing investor relations.
And yet, Chin's career is remarkable for another reason: she is undoubtedly paving the way for more women in leadership roles within the fintech industry. Today, the sector is still dominated by men with tech or banking backgrounds, but outliers like Chin show that the industry only benefits when more women are represented at the highest levels.
“In my opinion, incrementally, we should find more ways to generate more interest among girls and young women in tech, STEM and computer-science subjects, and subsequently careers in fintech...” expressed Chin, who continues to support this cause as a mentor via the Women in FinTech and F10 organizations.