Asset Managers

For some black-owned asset managers, 2008 was one of the most turbulent years ever. No. 4 on the BE Asset Managers list, Chicago-based Ariel Investments L.L.C. saw its assets under management drop a staggering 66% to $4.4 billion and revenues fall 41% to $53.9 million. The 40% drop in the stock market—combined with investors running for the exits—contributed to the decline, says Mellody Hobson, Ariel’s president. She also disclosed that Ariel laid off 18 people in August to help cut expenses. “Clearly, we’ve been in a once-in-a-70-year economic crisis in this country,” Hobson says, “and that has significantly affected money management firms and mutual fund companies.”

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