Ariel Investments laid off 18 employees, including two members of its research team, as a belt-tightening measure amid a brutal bear market, said Mellody L. Hobson, president of the Chicago-based value equity firm.
The research analysts leaving the firm are Robert Goldsborough, who had just been elevated as the 10th member of Ariels investment committee, and Mishone Donelson, a junior analyst who joined the firm out of business school in 2007.
Ariels senior investment professionals all remain with the firm, and its research, client service and compliance operations havent been jeopardized, Ms. Hobson said. Instead, Ariel moved to make itself leaner by eliminating two of its nine technology positions and cutting back in other areas, such as a position responsible for sponsorships, that werent needed in the current market environment, she said.
The layoffs reduce Ariels work force by roughly 20%.
Ms. Hobson said Ariel believes it was appropriate to take the opportunity to tighten our structure now even though its performance has rebounded strongly since oil prices began retreating last month.
Ariel had $8.9 billion in assets under management as of June 30.