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Athena Ole, CAIA

Head of Private Funds, Nasdaq Private Market

Athena is responsible for driving the development of the Private Funds business at Nasdaq Private Market (NPM). NPM is addressing the illiquidity challenge of alternative investment funds with their technology-powered secondary marketplace for private investments. The business has streamlined and centralized secondary liquidity for traditional private market funds, and supports new registered product vehicles that build secondary liquidity into their structures.


Athena joined Nasdaq in 2018, bringing over 20 years of experience in financial services. At Merrill Lynch, she was a leader across various roles in the Alternative Investments (AI) business for nearly 10 years. In addition to managing relationships with the firm’s AI fund partners, she also hired and led a team that championed adoption of hedge funds and private equity with the largest and most sophisticated clients of the firm. She launched and positioned a wide variety of AI fund strategies and structures through difference market cycles, and led the creation of a custom proposal process for consultative sales with clients.


Before joining Merrill Lynch in 2007, she spent over ten years at Citigroup where she was a Director of Alternative Investment Sales at Citigroup Alternative Investments, driving third party distribution of proprietary hedge funds and private equity. Athena started her career in Citigroup’s Global Corporate & Investment Bank, and spent seven years in NYC, London and Dublin, working in Corporate Finance after completing Citigroup’s prestigious six month Associate Analytics Program.


Athena is a Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst, and received her B.A. in Economics from Columbia College at Columbia University. She lives in Montebello, NY with her husband Rich and their three boys. Outside of her career and being a hockey mom, she enjoys her directorship on the board of High Water Women and is an accomplished musician and recording artist.

Opening Act: Institutional Quality Private Portfolios for Accredited Investors: New Practical Solutions: A 3-Part Workshop

Part 2: Accredited Investor Products: Interval to Auction Funds

  1. Candidate Product Structures
  2. Private BDCs & REITs; Traded CEFs
  3. Interval, Tender Offer, and Auction Fund Structures
  4. Similarities:
    1. Can deliver diversified asset classes
    2. Continuously offered, small minimums
    3. 40 Act & Tax RIC  protections and benefits
  5. Comparing Entry and Exit Mechanisms
    1. Fund-sourced Liquidity
      1. Limitations:  time from election to exit; tender costs
      2. Price uncertainty
      3. Cash drag, interest, tender costs & other performance penalties
      4. Penalize all investors for sake of those who exit
  6. Market-sourced Liquidity: Auction Funds
    1.  Mechanics
      1. Monthly auctions with limit order
      2. Single price auctions protects individual investors
      3. Depth of buying bench
      4. Investors do retain ability to tender if they wish
  7. Benefits:
    1. Short time to exit, no cost to sell
    2. Price certainty via limit orders
    3. Performance benefits: no cash drag; no cash-driven investment constraints; benefits to all investors because performance benefits & savings exceed costs