Home » 5 companies propelling the legacy of Black investor John W. Rogers, Jr.

5 companies propelling the legacy of Black investor John W. Rogers, Jr.

Unveiling the diverse business empire of Wall Street titan John W. Rogers, Jr.

by Feyisayo Ajayi
John W. Rogers Jr.

John W. Rogers, Jr., isn’t just a Black multimillionaire investor; he’s a Wall Street powerhouse, a business luminary, and a relentless champion of economic empowerment. At 12, Christmas and birthday stocks ignited his entrepreneurial spark, fueling his journey to Princeton and beyond. 

In 1983, Rogers Jr. saw a void, a dearth of minority-owned asset management firms. So, he filled it. Ariel Investments, now the largest Black-owned mutual fund in the US with a colossal $14 billion under its wing, was born. But Rogers, Jr., is more than just a financial titan. He’s a value-based investor, a boardroom diversity advocate, and a community champion.

Under his leadership and strategic guidance, Ariel invests in undervalued small and mid-caps, while empowering Chicago’s marginalized communities through education, workforce development, and economic revitalization initiatives.

His influence transcends markets. He co-chaired the 2009 presidential inauguration, uses Forbes to share investment insights, and nurtures aspiring entrepreneurs from underrepresented communities through Ariel’s Charitable Foundation and mentorship.

Rogers Jr. isn’t just paving the way for minority investors; he’s advocating for a more equitable financial system, his resilience, passion, and vision a beacon for future generations. 

Billionaires.Africa highlights five companies linked to Rogers, Jr., showcasing the diversity and impact of his business portfolio:

  1. Ariel Investments
    Ariel Investments, founded by Rogers, Jr., in 1983, stands as a testament to his visionary leadership. As the oldest Black-owned investment firm in the United States, Ariel manages over $16 billion in assets. Rogers’ commitment to value-focused strategies, particularly on undervalued small-cap stocks, has consistently delivered robust returns. His foresight in investing in companies led by women and minorities reflects a dedication to driving economic progress. Ariel’s global expansion and commitment to diversity make it a cornerstone in the financial world.
  1. Ariel Fund
    In 1986, Rogers pioneered Ariel Fund, the flagship of Ariel Investments, focusing on value investing. As the chief investment officer, he steered the fund toward targeting undervalued small- and mid-cap firms with robust growth prospects. The fund has consistently outperformed, boasting an impressive annual average return of 10.5 percent since its inception. Rogers’ patience, contrarian approach, and commitment to value investing have shaped Ariel Fund into a $2.5 billion powerhouse.
  1. Madison Square Garden Entertainment
    As of May 31, 2023, Ariel Focus Fund held 0.37 percent of the outstanding shares of Madison Square Garden Entertainment Corporation (MSGE). MSGE is a leading provider of live entertainment, owning iconic venues like Madison Square Garden and Radio City Music Hall. This investment reflects Ariel’s strategic diversification into the entertainment sector.
  1. Generac
    Generac Holdings Inc., a Fortune 1000 company, manufactures backup power generation products. Ariel Capital Investments’ stake in Generac (GNRC) was 0.34 percent as of Oct. 27, 2023. The company’s standout performance during the pandemic translated into a fourfold profit for Ariel between February 2019 and December 2020, showcasing Rogers’ keen investment acumen.
  1. Ariel’s Charitable Foundation
    Beyond business, Rogers, Jr., contributes significantly to Ariel’s Charitable Foundation (ACF). ACF focuses on empowering underserved communities in Chicago through educational programs, community development projects, and economic empowerment initiatives. Rogers serves on ACF’s board, providing strategic guidance and leadership, while also encouraging employee philanthropy. His support has made a profound impact, establishing him as a role model for other business leaders committed to positive social change.

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