Shirley Crystal Chua is Founder and Group CEO of Golden Equator, a holding group of businesses committed to creating value beyond the financial. The Group seeks to realise a world where communities, technology, capital and learning converge to propel human potential and inspire new possibilities.
Shirley is known in the industry as a future-focused leader, who is committed to developing solutions that empower the future generation while focusing on grooming the next generation of leaders. Through the Group, she builds an innovation ecosystem that fuels meaningful connections, bringing different communities together to amplify opportunities for businesses.
A serial entrepreneur, Shirley has also successfully co-founded each business and fund under Golden Equator, leveraging more than 20 years of experience in finance across private capital, venture capital, and wealth management areas and her natural flair in business building. A trusted UHNW family advisor turned entrepreneur-investor, Shirley is deeply involved in the startup and finance communities. She is highly regarded as a seasoned practitioner in these fields and is often sought out by entrepreneurs, UHNW families and business leaders to share her insight.
Since its founding in 2011, Golden Equator has grown within and beyond the finance industry, a testament to her strong business acumen in building agile and sustainable businesses. Shirley leads a team of 10 senior executives who share her belief in developing concepts and people to be focused on the future. They also share her ethos of “guided empowerment with ownership” empowering their staff to be creative and innovative in their approach, driven by curiosity.
A strong advocate for diversity and inclusion, Shirley is also in the Financial Women’s Association Singapore’s pioneering batch of female champions. She is passionate in helping younger female leaders and entrepreneurs as well as NextGen initiatives actively.
Outside of work, Shirley has an adorable little munchkin and a passion for cooking and wine appreciation. In the past few years, she started performance coaching and stretch project initiatives to develop younger professionals to reach their potential and to further impact in their area of influence.
Before becoming an entrepreneur, Shirley spent a decade with Citibank and American Express. While growing up as a young adult, Shirley spent seven years working with teenagers and young adults to help them cope with the challenges of their everyday life through counselling programmes.
Shirley graduated from the National University of Singapore with a Bachelor of Arts and Social Sciences, majoring in Economics and Southeast Asian Studies.