Mellody Hobson is president of Ariel Investments. Headquartered in Chicago, the firm offers six no-load mutual funds for individual investors and defined contribution plans as well as separately managed accounts for institutions and high net worth individuals. As president, Mellody is responsible for firm-wide management and strategic planning, overseeing all operations outside of research and portfolio management. Additionally, she serves as chairman of the board of trustees for Ariel Investment Trust.
Beyond her work at Ariel, Mellody has become a nationally recognized voice on financial literacy and investor education. She is a regular contributor and analyst on finance, the markets and economic trends for CBS News. She also contributes weekly money tips on the Tom Joyner Morning Show and pens a regular column for Black Enterprise magazine. As a passionate advocate for investor education, she is a spokesperson for the Ariel/Hewitt Study: 401(k) Plans in Living Color and the Ariel Black Investor Survey, both of which examine investing patterns among minorities.
Mellody is chairman of the board for DreamWorks Animation SKG, Inc., as well as director of The Estée Lauder Companies Inc. and Starbucks Corporation. Her community outreach includes serving as chairman of After School Matters, a non-profit that provides Chicago teens with high-quality, out-of-school time programs. She is a board member of The Chicago Public Education Fund, George Lucas Education Foundation, Lucas Museum of Narrative Art, and Sundance Institute, where she has been appointed emeritus trustee. She is also on the executive committee of the Investment Company Institute’s board of governors. In 2015, she was named to Time magazine’s annual list of the one hundred most influential people in the world. Mellody earned her AB from Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School of International Relations and Public Policy. She has also received honorary doctorate degrees from Howard University, St. Mary’s College and the University of Southern California.
Robbie Robinson is a Managing Director of BDT & Company. Prior to joining BDT, Robbie spent nine years at Goldman Sachs in a variety of roles in New York and Chicago, including advisory, principal investing and real estate financing. In 2007, he transferred into a coverage role, with a focus on the closely held effort and transaction execution. Robbie currently serves on the Board of Managers of The Wrigley Building. He is also a visiting trustee to the Board of Trustees of Morehouse College and is Vice Chairman of the Board of After School Matters. Robbie earned his BA in Political Science from Morehouse College.
Nora Daley is the Chair of the City of Chicago’s Cultural Advisory Council. Daley also is the Chair of the Board of Trustees of Steppenwolf Theatre Company, one of the nation’s leading ensemble theatres, producing up to 16 productions each year in its three Chicago theater spaces – including programming dedicated to the development of new plays and theatre for young adults. She serves on the board and executive committee of After School Matters and the Frances Xavier Warde School. Daley also serves on the board of the Terra Foundation for American Art and Navy Pier, Inc. and on the advisory board of the Illinois Justice Project. She received a BA in Art History from Fairfield University, and she lives in Chicago with her husband and three children.