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Emma Rodriguez-Ayala

Executive Vice President Chief Administrative Officer and General Counsel

Emma's Expertise

Emma serves as Ariel’s Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) and General Counsel as well as Board Secretary of Ariel Investments and Ariel Alternatives. In her role as CAO, she collaborates with the Co-CEO and President on the firm’s administrative and operational strategy and execution. Specifically, Emma helps oversee the administrative functions of legal, compliance, governance, investment operations, and technology, as well as risk oversight for all the firm’s entities, including Ariel Distributors, Ariel Investment Trust and Ariel’s private funds. Emma is a member of Ariel’s Operating Committee, among other governance roles. Prior to joining Ariel, she was the general counsel, chief compliance officer, and board secretary of LGIM America, a diversified asset manager with $220 billion under management, which included traditional and alternative strategies across managed accounts, mutual funds, private funds, and collective investment trusts. At LGIM America, she oversaw all operational risk, compliance, legal, and governance functions, was a member of the executive committee and chaired the firm-wide risk committee. Emma also previously served as general counsel at Mesirow Advanced Strategies—one of the largest alternatives fund-of-funds managers globally at the time—where she was a member of the executive committee and operating committee. Previously, she was a partner in the investment management practice of the law firm Faegre Drinker, advising across investment product types, primarily in active equity and alternative strategies, including private equity. She began her career at Sidley Austin LLP’s investment funds, products and derivatives group. Emma is an independent director of First Bank Chicago, one of the largest privately held banks in Chicagoland. She serves on the board of Chicago television station WTTW and the Chicago classical music station WFMT. Additionally, she is a founder and board member of Angeles Investors, a Latino-focused angel investing group and is a member of the Latino Corporate Directors Association. A native of Puerto Rico, Emma graduated summa cum laude with a BA in international business from Saint Louis University and earned her JD from the University of Chicago Law School. She is also qualified as a chief compliance officer by the Canadian Securities Institute and holds Diligent’s climate leadership certification.