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Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Ariel Makes a Discovery

Reported by Armie Margaret Lee

Today is a unforgettable day for the folks at Ariel Investments [see profile], and it's not only because of the monster storm that's pounding the Midwest. The Chicago-based firm on Tuesday launched the Ariel Discovery Fund, its first mutual fund in more than five years. [SEC filing]

This raises the number of mutual funds in Ariel's lineup to four. The last time the company launched a fund was in 2005, when it rolled out the Ariel Focus Fund.

The Ariel Discovery Fund, which will invest in 30-40 stocks of companies with a market cap of under $2 billion, comes with an expense ratio of 150 basis points. David Maley, who leads Ariel's micro-cap value strategy, is the lead PM. Also on the PM team for the fund is Kenneth Kuhrt.

"We decided to roll this out as an extension of what we've been doing in the micro-cap portfolio," said Maley in an interview with The MFWire.com "We see lots of opportunity in the very small part of the market, regardless of market conditions."
Company Announcement

Ariel Investments, LLC Introduces Ariel Discovery Fund

Chicago, IL (February 1, 2011) Ariel Investments, LLC, announced the launch of Ariel Discovery Fund, a new small-cap, deep value publicly-traded mutual fund. Ariel Discovery Fund, a portfolio comprised of 30 Ė 40 names, will invest in stocks with market capitalizations under $2 billion at the time of initial purchase. David M. Maley will serve as Lead Portfolio Manager and final decision maker. Kenneth E. Kuhrt will act as Portfolio Manager.

David currently leads Ariel's micro-cap value strategy. He joined Ariel in April 2009 bringing an impressive seven-year track record in the micro-cap value space, as well as 25 years of investment experience. Prior to joining Ariel, David ran Maple Hill Capital Management. David began his investment career at Goldman Sachs. He later joined Harris Bank as a Vice President and Senior Portfolio Manager. He earned a BBA in finance with high honors from the University of Notre Dame and an MBA from the University of Chicago.

Ken works side-by-side with David on stock selection for Arielís micro-cap portfolios. He serves in the same capacity for the Ariel Small Cap Value Product, working closely with lead portfolio manager John W. Rogers, Jr. and fellow portfolio manager John Miller. In addition to these portfolio management duties, Ken serves as an industry specialist covering consumer services and industrial companies. Ken joined the firm as a research analyst in 2004 after earning his MBA from the University of Chicago. Prior to Ariel, Ken spent nearly two years with William Blair & Company. He also worked as a senior auditor at KPMG. He received a BS in accounting from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and is a Certified Public Accountant.

Ariel Investments' Founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, John W. Rogers, Jr., stated, "We are delighted to have David at the helm of Ariel Discovery. We built our firm on the belief small-cap stocks are often overlooked and undervalued. I am confident both David and Kenís outstanding analytical skills will ferret out great values."

In describing Ariel Discovery Fund, Maley explains, "As Graham and Dodd disciples, we will search for undervalued assets providing a margin of safety. We will look to exploit the same short-term biases that run rampant in the micro-cap arena. This contrarian, deep value style is perfectly aligned with Ariel's time-tested patient investing philosophy."

To learn more about Ariel Discovery Fund, its holdings and portfolio management, contact Merrillyn J. Kosier, Executive Vice President at 312-726-0140 or click here.

About Ariel Investments, LLC
Founded in 1983 by John W. Rogers, Jr., Ariel Investments is a Chicago-based money management firm with a historic specialty in small and mid-capitalization U.S. equities. In addition to managing separate accounts for corporate, public, union and non-profit organizations, Ariel Investments also serves as the investment adviser for Ariel Investment Trust, which is comprised of four no-load, publicly traded mutual funds. Ariel Fund represents the firmís small/mid cap value strategy, Ariel Appreciation Fund is managed in a pure mid-cap value strategy, Ariel Focus Fund concentrates on medium-to-large cap value companies and our newest fund, Ariel Discovery Fund represents our small-cap, deep value portfolio strategy.

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