Today’s investment management company announced to its clients that its CFO is leaving and announced changes to the board of directors that would support a new division announced last month to invest in minority companies and create others.
The San Francisco office, due to open later this year, facing the Golden Gate Bridge from the famous Presidio, will be Ariel’s third. Rogers said the company, which manages $ 17 billion, already has about half a dozen employees in California.
In its announcement to customers, Ariel said that after 16 years with the company, 42-year-old CFO Maureen Longoria will be leaving in late June to “explore new opportunities.” It added, “The happy work at her Wisconsin home during the pandemic made her rethink her return to Chicago full time.”
She could not be reached immediately for comment.
Also in the middle of the year, David Maley, whom the note describes as “a clever and thoughtful investor who had the courage of his convictions in one of the most difficult periods”, leaves. Its micro and small cap “deep value” portfolios were said to have recovered “after a brutal period for the smallest and most undervalued companies”.
He could not be reached immediately for comment.
At the board level, Ariel announced that veteran Chicago banker David Vitale will be leaving after more than 30 years to coordinate joint services between the company and startup Ariel Alternatives and its Project Black initiative.
Vitale, former First Chicago executive and vice chairman of Bank One, will remain an advisor to Ariel’s Operations Committee.
Another director, Leslie Brun, will step down from the board to become chairman and CEO of Ariel Alternatives. He has private equity expertise and experience as a director of a public company, said Ariel.
According to Rogers, Ariel Alternatives, backed by JP Morgan Chase, is hoping to raise more than $ 2 billion to invest in businesses owned by Black and Latinx companies and other companies that are candidates for such status. The aim is to connect the companies with larger companies in order to diversify their supplier base. So far, Chase has tied up $ 200 million.
Hobson and Lucas have three homes in California, including one in Bel-Air, which Ross Perot bought for $ 33.9 million in 2017. Ariel’s California-based employees include Jennifer DiGrazia, who leads institutional client and investor relations and who rejoined the company in 2019 after working at DreamWorks Animation and MGM Studios.
The Lucas Museum of Narrative Art is slated to open in downtown Los Angeles next year after a plan for construction in Chicago was abandoned in 2016 because of objections to a proposed lakefront location.
Ariel’s other office outside of Chicago in New York will host Project Black and increase the workforce by 10 to about 30, Rogers said.
The retiring Ariel directors will be replaced by Fazal Merchant, a former CFO of DreamWorks, and Anthony Romero, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union.
Also retiring from the board is Vice Chairman Charles Bobrinskoy, a move that Ariel said was aimed at reducing the number of company insiders on a nine-member board and making Rogers and Hobson the company’s only executives.