Mellody Hobson, president of Ariel Investments and speaker at the 65th CFA Institute Annual Conference, has learned what it takes to run a successful investment management firm from her time spent working at every level of management. She began as intern at Ariel Investments when it was part of Calvert Group, and she is now president of the company — which has become one of Chicago’s biggest mutual fund money managers — and chair of the board of trustees of Ariel mutual funds.
This year, Traders Magazine honored Ms. Hobson’s accomplishments with its 2011 Entrepreneur of the Year award, presented at the Wall Street Women: A Celebration of Excellence event. Fortune asked for her insights as an investment guru when they developed their fantasy executive league, asking her to describe the executive “dream team” she’d pick to run a company.
Outside of the financial services industry, Ms. Hobson has tried to help individual investors make sound money management decisions, appearing regularly in Good Morning America’s personal finance segments on ABC news and creating Un-Broke: What You Need to Know about Money, a television special featuring celebrities such as Will Smith, Seth Green, and Oscar the Grouch discussing financial concepts. After Standard & Poor’s downgraded their U.S. credit rating, she used her column in Black Enterprise to urge investors not to overreact and declared that “Standard & Poor’s made a massive mistake.”
Ms. Hobson’s presentation at the 65th CFA Institute Annual Conference in Chicago, titled “Leading an Investment Firm in Times of Economic Turbulence,” will discuss ways that a firm can refnie its core research activities, how to succeed in a competitive economic landscape, and ways that the mutual fund industry can serve the public. You can register to attend the event to hear more from Ms. Hobson in person, and follow this blog for more speaker updates as the conference draws closer.