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Rogers doesn’t expect the firm’s strategy to change dramatically anytime soon as a result of the shift announced today, but he noted that Hobson had increasingly been taking on more responsibility for hiring, marketing and communications and he said he expects her growing role in those areas to continue.As the firm is expanding, it’s a particularly good time for her to increase her leadership in these areas, emphasizing Ariel’s unique position in the market, specifically with respect to a focus on diversity in recruiting, he said.
I am happily doing so to level the playing field.” Rogers and Hobson have been working with Ariel’s board on the transaction for about six to nine months, with compensation committee chair David Vitale taking the lead, Rogers said in the interview.
She could also at some point lead the firm to add another “prong” to its investment management, just as it added an international component in 2011, he added.
It was partly because Rogers and Hobson often get questions about what they plan to do next and about succession planning for the firm that they decided it was the right time to make the firm’s succession planning clear, Rogers said.
Hobson, who is married to billionaire filmmaker George Lucas, has become a major corporate mover and shaker in Chicago, recently being named by new Mayor Lori Lightfoot as the vice chairman of World Business Chicago, the city’s economic development arm.
She has also chaired the Economic Club of Chicago and the late Maggie Daley nonprofit After School Matters.