The WFE's Women Leaders 2023 - Karen Snow, Senior Vice President, Head of U.S. Listings and Revenue, Nasdaq

By: Karen Snow, Senior Vice President, Head of U.S. Listings and Revenue, Nasdaq Mar 2023

Name: Karen Snow

Organization: Nasdaq Inc.

Job Title: Senior Vice President, Head of U.S. Listings and Revenue, Nasdaq 

1. Brief description of nominee’s role/job

Karen leads the strategic direction for the Listings and Corporate Solutions businesses at Nasdaq where she is responsible for all revenue and attracting new company listings as well as overseeing and growing Nasdaq’s Capital Markets, Investor Relations, ESG, and Governance solutions. She leads a team of 95 who partner with companies as they look to successfully access and navigate the public markets.

In addition, Karen is a member of the Executive Leadership Team at Nasdaq, and serves on the boards of both Nasdaq Private Markets, a consortium company in partnership with GS, MS, SVB, Citi & Allen & Co, and the Nasdaq Center for Board Excellence, a convening community of board members, executives & thought leaders. She is also a founding member and executive leader of AccelerateHer, a global initiative focused on mentoring and accelerating women to the top ranks of Nasdaq.

2. Short bio (career highlights, education, interests/hobbies):

Karen joined Nasdaq four years ago to spearhead East Coast Listings and Corporate Solutions and now oversees U.S. and Canada Listings and Revenue. She leads a team of 95 people and is responsible for the strategic direction of the business as well as winning, retaining, and switching listings and growing Nasdaq’s Capital Markets, Investor Relations, ESG, and Governance Solutions in the U.S. and Canada; she additionally oversees Listings and Retention in EMEA.

Prior to Nasdaq, Karen was a managing director and head of New York equity sales at Credit Suisse where she spent five years in investment banking and 13 years in equity sales. She maintains her Series 7, 63, 9, and 10 licenses. She received her BS from Babson College where she graduated with honours and her MBA from Georgetown University McDonough School of Business.

In December 2022, Karen was appointed to the board of Marelli, a KKR-backed portfolio company, where she sits on the audit and compensation committees. In addition, she serves on the Babson College advisory board and the Georgetown MBA Alumni Advisory Council, and previously served on the boards of the Packer Collegiate Institute in Brooklyn and the Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy.

She enjoys mentoring other women, traveling, real estate, design, private investing, and competitive tennis in her free time. She and her husband Tim live in Greenwich, CT, with their two daughters, Mackenzie and Natalie, and their sheepadoodle “Charlie.”

3. What were your professional highlights and challenges of 2022? 

Karen led the listings and solutions teams to achieve outstanding results in 2022.

On the listings front, amidst challenging market conditions, Nasdaq maintained its status as the exchange of choice for listings across the capital markets -- welcoming 305 listings, with a total of 217 operating companies and 74 SPACs representing an 89% IPO win rate in the U.S. market and extending Nasdaq’s leadership to 36 consecutive quarters. In addition to IPOs, there were 14 exchange transfers to Nasdaq.

 In 2022, seven of the top 10 and three of the top five largest IPOs by proceeds raised listed on Nasdaq, including operating companies TPG and Mobileye as well as the largest SPAC of the year, Screaming Eagle Acquisition Corp. Nasdaq also continued its strong track record in the healthcare, consumer, and technology sectors with win rates of 93%, 94%, and 95%, respectively. Furthermore, Nasdaq focused its efforts on global listings, as Nasdaq welcomed Starbox (the first Malaysian company to list on our U.S. exchange) and Inter (the first Brazilian company to transfer from a local exchange to Nasdaq).

Nasdaq was also the first to expand listing optionality as the SEC approved Nasdaq’s proposal to enhance existing rules for a Direct Listing with a Capital Raise just this past December. This ground-breaking proposal paves the way for companies looking for an additional path to the public markets.

On the corporate solutions front, Nasdaq’s IR and NGS solutions businesses achieved substantial growth in the face of challenging economic conditions, while ESG solutions growth was up over 40%. Under Karen’s leadership, Nasdaq Corporate Solutions also restructured and upskilled the entire sales organization in 2022 by creating two teams, one focused on private and the other focused on public market segment opportunities. This resulted in each team now having the ability to cross-sell all of Nasdaq’s solutions into both corporate clients and private institutions. Nasdaq also acquired and integrated Metrio, an ESG reporting software company that automates data collection, analysis, and report creation, expanding and solidifying Nasdaq’s market position in the rapidly expanding area of ESG.

Lastly, Karen helped launch and lead AccelerateHer, a global, high-potential executive mentorship program at Nasdaq.

4. What and who inspires/has inspired you to achieve your professional success?

Karen is inspired by the amazing entrepreneurs with whom she has had the immense pleasure of collaborating with at Nasdaq. Thousands of companies call Nasdaq home, and there have been 86 IPOs with female CEOs since Karen joined, including Bumble led by Whitney Herd, Olaplex led by JuE Wong, and Anthemis Digital Acquisitions, a women-led and ESG-focused SPAC.

These amazing women-led companies are helping to reimagine the modern economy and transform the way we live and work. Since 2019, 20% of female CEOs listed on Nasdaq were under the age of 40, the youngest at age 31. In 2022, Nasdaq gathered 22 women from across the financial sector at our Female Leaders Council. The summit featured leaders of public companies and late-stage start-ups across sectors, backgrounds, age groups, and identities, with the purpose of convening women who are committed to empowering and supporting female executive leaders. Karen is excited about what the future holds for these powerful women who are category leaders and serve as tremendous examples for herself and future generations.

Finally, Karen draws a huge amount of inspiration from Madeleine Albright given she was an immigrant, and an incredibly respected and successful diplomat, politician, professor, and author – all while raising three well-accomplished daughters. Her leadership style, grace, humour, and foresight provide inspiration to women around the world and has paved the way forward for future female leaders.

5. What advice do you have for other women who aspire to be in leadership positions?

With Madeleine in mind, the following are four tips that Karen would share with women who aspire to be in leadership positions.

Have Patience with a Purpose: Be strategic about your career and skill sets. Think of it as a marathon and not a sprint. First and foremost, invest in yourself and know that this journey takes a tremendous amount of planning and patience.

Build Relationships: It’s not just about career performance and output -- that’s considered table stakes in today’s hyper-competitive environment. Stand out from the crowd by building strong internal and external relationships throughout your career.

Maintain Work-Life Balance: As a mother of two, Karen knows that work-life balance matters tremendously. Appreciate the experiences both in and out of the workplace to become a better person and working professional.

Express your Gratitude: Karen is constantly reminded of all the mentors and women who have helped her along the way. And for those whom she supports in turn, she encourages them to pay it forward and pay it back. This is how we will keep the cycle of women supporting women going into perpetuity.


The views, thoughts and opinions contained in this Focus article belong solely to the author and do not necessarily reflect the WFE’s policy position on the issue, or the WFE’s views or opinions.