John W. Rogers, Jr., CEO & Founder, Ariel Investments
John W. Rogers, Jr. is founder, chairman and chief investment officer of Ariel Investments, a Chicago-based money management firm that serves institutional clients through separately managed accounts as well as individual investors and 401(k) plans through its no-load, publicly-traded mutual funds.
After working for 2½ years as a stockbroker at William Blair and Company, LLC—a regional investment banking firm—John founded Ariel Investments in 1983 to focus on undervalued small and medium-sized companies showing strong growth potential. Patience served as the cornerstone of a disciplined approach that still drives the firm today.
John’s passion for investing started when he was 12 years old when his father bought him stocks every birthday and every Christmas instead of toys. His interest grew while majoring in Economics at Princeton University.
In addition to following stocks as a college student, John also played basketball and was even tapped by Hall of Fame coach Pete Carril to captain Princeton’s Varsity Basketball Team his senior year. There, Carril’s courtside lessons on teamwork, discipline and hard work profoundly shaped his views of entrepreneurship and investing.
Beyond Ariel, John currently serves as a board member of Aon Corporation, Exelon Corporation and McDonald’s Corporation. He is also a director of the Chicago Urban League, a trustee of the University of Chicago, chairman of the board for the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools as well as a member of the board of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, where he chairs the investment committee. He is chairman of the Economic Club of Chicago and a Henry Crown Fellow of the Aspen Institute. He is also a past president of the Board of the Chicago Park District.
In 2008, John was awarded Princeton University’s highest honor, the Woodrow Wilson Award, presented each year to the alumni whose career embodies a commitment to national service. Following the election of President Barack Obama, John served as co-chair for the Presidential Inaugural Committee 2009.
John’s investment expertise has brought him to the forefront of media attention, including being selected as Mutual Fund Manager of the Year by Sylvia Porter’s Personal Finance magazine as well as an All-Star Mutual Fund Manager by USA TODAY. Additionally, he is regularly featured and quoted in a wide variety of broadcast and print publications and is a contributing columnist to Forbes.