John W. Rogers, Jr.
Chairman, CEO & Chief Investment Officer
Lead Portfolio Manager
Ariel Small and Small/Mid Cap Value Products and Ariel Fund
Ariel Mid Cap Value Product and Ariel Appreciation Fund
John’s passion for investing started when he was 12 years old when his father bought him stocks every birthday and every Christmas instead of toys. His interest grew while majoring in economics at Princeton University. After graduation, he worked as a stockbroker for 2½ years at William Blair & Company, LLC—a regional investment banking firm. In 1983, John founded Ariel Investments to focus on undervalued small and medium-sized companies. Patience served as the cornerstone of a disciplined approach that still drives the firm today. Beyond Ariel, John is a regular financial contributor to Forbes Magazine and currently serves as a board member of Exelon Corporation and McDonald’s Corporation. Additionally, he is a trustee of both the Nathan Cummings Foundation and the University of Chicago, where he chairs the board of the University of Chicago Laboratory School. John is also a director of the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights. In 2008, he was awarded Princeton University’s highest honor, the Woodrow Wilson Award, presented each year to the alumnus whose career embodies a commitment to national service. Following the election of President Barack Obama, John served as co-chair for the Presidential Inaugural Committee 2009. In 2013, he was featured alongside legendary investors Warren Buffett, Sir John Templeton and Benjamin Graham in the distinguished book: The World’s 99 Greatest Investors by Magnus Angenfelt. John received an AB in economics from Princeton University where he was also captain of the varsity basketball team.
Mellody is responsible for firm-wide management and strategic planning, overseeing all operations outside of research and portfolio management. Additionally, she serves as chairman of the board of trustees for Ariel Investment Trust. Beyond her work at Ariel, Mellody has become a nationally recognized voice on financial literacy and investor education. She is a regular contributor and analyst on finance, the markets and economic trends for CBS News. She also contributes weekly money tips on the Tom Joyner Morning Show and pens a column for Black Enterprise magazine. As a passionate advocate for investor education, she is a spokesperson for the Ariel/Hewitt Study: 401(k) Plans in Living Color and the Ariel Black Investor Survey, both of which examine investing patterns among minorities. Mellody is chairman of the board for DreamWorks Animation SKG, Inc. as well as a director of The Estée Lauder Companies Inc., Groupon, Inc., and Starbucks Corporation. Her community outreach includes serving as chairman of After School Matters, a non-profit that provides Chicago teens with high quality, out-of-school time programs. Furthermore, she is a board member of the Lucas Cultural Arts Museum, The Chicago Public Education Fund, Sundance Institute and is on the executive committee of the Investment Company Institute’s board of governors. Mellody earned her AB degree from Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School of International Relations and Public Policy. She also received honorary doctorate degrees in humanities from both Howard University and St. Mary’s College.