Sharon Shi is CEO of global broker and clearing firm GH Financials. Previously she was managing director of GH Financials Hong Kong, where she was instrumental in establishing the company’s clearing business and overseeing its expansion in Asia.
Shi also was chair of FIA Asia, served on FIA's board of directors, and now sits on FIA’s Europe Advisory Board after moving to London last year to assume her expanded role at GH.
Shi began her career in the derivatives industry at the Shanghai Futures Exchange in 2005 after completing an MBA in Banking & Finance in Singapore. Her previous experience included trading and banking roles in China at firms such as China Construction Bank.
It was at the SHFE that she met Gedon Hertschten, the founder and owner of GH Financials and a member of the 2023 class of the FIA Hall of Fame.
“Gedon was so passionate about the derivatives industry. I was fascinated by his visions and ambitions about the emerging markets at that time and thought, ‘This is something where I can contribute’,” Shi recalls.
Shi started working with Hertschten in 2007, first on the creation and development of the Hertschten Group’s Futures First investment business in China and then, in 2013, on establishing GH Financials in Asia.
“This is the 16th year that I have worked with Gedon, and I enjoy every minute of it. I appreciate the opportunities I have had to learn and to grow, to start something from scratch and watch it grow from small to big,” Shi says.
“Along the way, there have been many challenges. Regardless of how well you think you're prepared, there will always be something unexpected that comes along, but when you figure things out, conquer the difficulties and finally deliver according to the business strategy, that is a great feeling. You learn so much from those experiences.”
Shi is the exemplification of someone who is focused, hardworking, diligent and has the tenacity and desire to learn – attributes that she is keen to impart to other women who are looking to advance their careers to senior management levels in the industry.
“I understand how difficult it can be for women to play multiple roles and try to keep the right balance between career life and personal life,” Shi says. “In my culture at least, women are usually more needed at home, which means that we really have to use our time more efficiently and smartly so that we have sufficient energy and bandwidth to achieve our career goals,” Shi says.
“Having a supportive family has been critical in my case and I really appreciate that, but hard work, diligence and not being afraid to step out of your comfort zone are among the merits I would encourage my female peers in the industry to try to develop.”