Mellody Hobson was promoted to co-CEO of Ariel Investments, sharing the role with her longtime business partner, John W. Rogers Jr., chairman, chief investment officer and formerly the firm's sole CEO.
Ms. Hobson retains her current role as president of the active equity management firm where she has worked for nearly 28 years, confirmed Martin C. Gawne, vice president.
Ms. Hobson's "ascent to co-CEO is a direct result of her own focus, patience, independent thinking and team play," Mr. Rogers wrote, adding that she has a "can-do spirit that is infectious," according to a letter to clients obtained by Pensions & Investments.
"Ariel has been my home for nearly three decades, and I am excited about the profound possibilities for the next chapter of our storied history," Ms. Hobson said in a company news release.
Neither Ms. Hobson nor Mr. Rogers was available for comment, Mr. Gawne said.
Mr. Rogers will continue to oversee firmwide research, manage Ariel's flagship domestic equity funds and remains chairman of the board.
Ms. Hobson will purchase 14% of Mr. Rogers' equity stake in the firm by July 19, increasing her stake to 39.5%, making her Ariel's largest shareholder. Mr. Rogers said in his letter that the equity transfer will better align Ms. Hobson's stake in the company with her new position as co-CEO.
Mr. Rogers' ownership stake in the firm will fall to 34.1%. Ariel employees and board members collectively hold 21.8% and 4.6% is held by a small number of external owners.
In his letter, Mr. Rogers told investors that even as Ariel is "deliberately considering succession planning, rest assured, my own plan is to continue managing stock portfolios for at least another decade, if not more. Even on the toughest days, I love this job and there is nothing I would rather do."
Ariel Investments has $12.9 billion in assets under management.