Updated with correction.
Ariel Investments LLC, a global asset management firm and the first Black-owned mutual fund firm in the U.S., celebrates its 40th anniversary this year, and this month closed a $1.45 billion fund that will invest in Black and Latino middle market businesses.
Ariel's new fund — Project Black — raised $1.45 billion through commitments from limited partners such as Nuveen; the $450 billion Qatar Investment Authority, Doha; and Walmart, as well as commitments from other partners in retail, energy, infrastructure, finance, health care and technology.
Project Black will seek to invest in six to 10 midsize companies with $100 million to $1 billion in revenue in order to meet vendor needs for large companies in industries such as health care, media and marketing, manufacturing, technology and transportation.
The fund was first announced in February of 2021.
"Ariel has expanded its service to clients and survived and thrived through four decades and five market cycles," said Arielle Patrick, chief communications officer at Ariel, in an email.
Ms. Patrick added that the 40th anniversary is symbolic, as the first Black-owned mutual fund company in the United States. Ariel was founded in 1983 by John W. Rogers Jr. when he was 24 years old. Ariel now manages $16.2 billion in assets including $1.35 billion for Ariel Alternatives, a subsidiary, as of Dec. 31.
To mark the anniversary, the Chicago-based firm said it will keep its tortoise mascot and "Slow and steady wins the race" motto, but plans to rebrand itself to an editorial aesthetic with a focus on large-scale black-and-white photography of its clients and team. It also plans to adopt the tagline "Active Patience," according to a news release announcing the changes.