Kareem G. Nakshbendi

Founder and Chief Executive Officer

Kareem is an entrepreneur, operator and professional investor with over 20 years of focused experience in the financial services industry investing across many asset classes, including publicly-traded equity, fixed income, venture capital, growth capital, private equity, and real estate. 

Prior to founding ACS, Kareem was a compliance advisor to both, a Fortune 500 global financial services company, and prior to that a large U.S. bank. His roles have spanned across several U.S.-based start-up companies, a bulge bracket investment bank and private equity firms where he led several cross-border transactions and most recently managed a $500 MM opportunistic private equity fund where he was responsible for the investment process including sourcing, transaction execution, and portfolio company oversight.

His deep manager skillset, diverse global experience, and passion for people consistently lead to positive results. Kareem is a subject-matter expert in counter-threat finance and anti-money laundering. He has been an investigator, compliance executive, operational executive and professional investor within the U.S. and abroad. His experience across various disciplines includes quantitative finance, sales & trading, operations, regulatory compliance, and internal controls.

He launched his career at Morgan Stanley and was recruited by ultra-high net worth family offices to advise on investment strategies leveraging data analytics. He has held FINRA (NASD) Series 7, Series 66 and Series 31 licenses. Kareem received his M.B.A. with a dual focus on Finance and Real Estate from the Kogod School of Business at American University and earned a B.S.B.A. in Finance from Towson University.

Kareem and his wife Annette enjoy spending time with their son. He is based in Washington, D.C.

Colonel (Ret) Abbas K. Dahouk

Chief Operating Officer

Abbas has enjoyed a 33-year career with the U.S. Army and was recently inducted into the Officer Candidate School (OCS) Hall of Fame Class of 2019. His career has spanned domestic and foreign assignments in combat and peace circumstances.

Abbas was born and raised in Lebanon and completed high school at 17. He then joined the Popular Liberation Army and completed military training in the former Soviet Union. Frustrated from the cruelty of the Civil War in Lebanon, he left to the U.S. seeking higher education. He enlisted in the U.S. Army as an Airborne Cavalry Scout with the 82nd Airborne Division and then received his commission from OCS as an Artillery Officer.

Most recently, Abbas served as a Senior Military Advisor with the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs at the U.S. Department of State and before that was the Defense and Army Attaché to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Abbas was also a Senior Military Advisor to the U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan managing and overseeing security sector assistance programs for Pakistani forces engaged in combat operations in connection with the Afghan war. Along the way, he was also an Associate Professor of Arabic and Persian-Farsi at the U.S. Military Academy of West Point.

In addition to receiving an M.A. in Near East Studies from Princeton University, he also received an M.A. in Strategic Studies from the Army War College. Abbas also holds a B.A. in Military Science from the Sultanate of Oman Joint Command and Staff College, a B.A. in Near Eastern Studies and a B.S. in Mathematics both from the University of Arizona.

His awards include; Defense Superior Service Medal, National Intelligence Meritorious Unit Citation, Legion of Merit Medal, King Salam of Saudi Arabia Military Appreciation Medal-First Class, Global War on Terrorism Medal – Expeditionary and Service, Kuwait Liberation Medal (Kingdom of Saudi Arabia), Kuwait Liberation Medal (Government of Kuwait), Multinational Forces and Observers Medal, Master Parachutist Badge and the Ranger Tab.

Abbas and his wife Elizabeth enjoy spending time with their two daughters and son. He is based in Washington, D.C.

Sam L. Carmello

Vice President of Engineering

Sam has enjoyed a 35-year career in software development, hardware configuration and network architecture in the defense, process control and telecom industries. He is highly skilled in the operation of large scale computing environments and their associated development tools. His background includes creating real-time systems for the U.S. Department of Defense and factory automation products for the process control industry. Significant features of these systems include application design, continuous operation, disaster recovery, intuitive user interfaces, distributed fault tolerant requirements, client/server architecture, real-time processing requirements and the ability to scale applications. Customer relations and collaboration are a central approach from development to deployment.

Sam earned a B.S. in Math and Computer Science from Kent State University. He has worked in the process control and satellite industries for Loral Systems, Allen Bradley and Bailey Controls. Sam served in the U.S. Army Reserves and achieved the rank of Captain. 

Sam and his wife Tammy enjoy international travel. He is based in Washington, D.C.