John Rogers wants to be clear: corporate America is missing its moment to act on racial inequity.
It's not just rhetoric and donations that will make the difference, said the co-chief executive officer of $10 billion fund manager Ariel Investments, which focuses on value stocks. Businesses need to hire more African-Americans into senior roles — including board seats and executive suites — and work with other companies that have diverse leadership, he said.
Mr. Rogers, 62, is one of the fund industry's leading African-American figures after founding Ariel Investments nearly four decades ago. Its Ariel Fund has returned an average of about 10% a year since its inception in 1986, outpacing the Russell 2500 Value Index. He also sits on the boards of McDonald's Corp., Nike Inc. and the New York Times Co., and is a trustee of the University of Chicago.
Mr. Rogers spoke about everything from protests over racism to COVID-19 and investing in today's market. His comments have been edited for length.