Sharmila Kassam

Shar Kassam is the Head of Nasdaq Asset Owners Solutions. She will focus on connecting with asset owners and aligning with industry stakeholders to pursue Nasdaq’s overall vision for the markets, data and technology. Shar Kassam is an investment executive and recognized thought leader focused on operational efficiencies, financial innovation and pressing priorities of asset owners. She was the Deputy Chief Investment Officer of the $35+ billion Employees Retirement System of Texas (Texas ERS). She managed investments across asset classes, her internal investment team and external managers. She was responsible for overseeing asset allocation, risk management, pursuing new initiatives, new investment structures and developing the highest levels of governance. She was a change agent working through various phases of the Texas ERS allocation into alternatives. She also reviewed the investment products for the $3+ billion Texa$aver 401(k)/457 Plan. She spearheaded ESG and DEI programming, including the launch of an emerging manager program to invest in small and/or minority managers. Shar grew this portfolio to over $1 billion outperforming larger, more established investment managers by 300-400 bps on average. She also led her team to produce strong 1-year, 3-year and 5-year relative performance with a public track record and top quartile performance among public pension plans. Shar most recently served as the Executive Director for the AIF Institute, a global investment think tank that represents over $50 trillion AUM from the leading asset owners focusing on areas of research in private market investment strategies, ESG, DEI and financial innovation with esteemed academics, large asset managers, consultants and institutional investors. She is an Institutional Limited Partner Association (ILPA) Instructor and faculty member for the National Institute of Public Finance. Her prior career was in the venture and technology industry working in financial, legal, operational and management roles over 15 years. She holds a BBA in Accounting (with honors) and a J.D. from The University of Texas at Austin. She is a licensed Certified Public Accountant in Texas and licensed to practice law in California and Texas.

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