Sharmila Kassam, Esq., CPA, is the Deputy Chief Investment Officer at the Employees Retirement System of Texas (ERS) for the $29 billion ERS Retirement Trust Fund. She co-manages the ERS Investments Division with the Chief Investment Officer by overseeing investments in all asset classes, analyzing asset allocation, managing the staff and pursuing new initiatives. Sharmila is a voting member of the Private Credit Investment Committees and has served on the Private Equity and Private Infrastructure Investment Committees. She also actively works with the $2.9 billion Texa$aver 401(k) / 457 Program, a voluntary defined contribution plan. Prior to her current role, she served as an Assistant General Counsel at ERS for four years during the initial stages of the private asset classes, leading legal negotiations with multiple fund sponsors partnering with the private equity, private real estate and hedge fund teams as the portfolios developed.
Before joining ERS, Sharmila was an associate at WSGR, focusing on securities, mergers/acquisitions, venture capital and corporate governance. She also worked in the venture industry at multiple start-ups and technology companies in financial, operational, legal and management roles. She began her career as an audit associate at Coopers & Lybrand (now PriceWaterhouseCoopers).
Sharmila is a licensed Certified Public Accountant and also licensed to practice law in California and Texas. She holds a Bachelor of Business Administration in accounting, with honors, and a Juris Doctor from The University of Texas at Austin.