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Emma Rodriguez-Ayala

General Counsel

Emma's Expertise

Emma is Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Board Secretary of Ariel Investments and Ariel Alternatives. She oversees the legal, compliance, governance and risk functions for all the firm’s entities, including Ariel Distributors, Ariel Investment Trust, and Ariel’s private funds. Emma is also a member of Ariel’s Operating Committee, among other governance roles.

The entirety of Emma’s career has been as an investment management legal, risk and compliance professional. Prior to joining Ariel, she was the General Counsel, Chief Compliance Officer, and Board Secretary of LGIM America, a diversified asset manager with $220 billion under management, which included traditional and alternative strategies across managed accounts, mutual funds, private funds, and collective investment trusts. At LGIM, she oversaw all U.S. risk, compliance, legal and governance functions and was a member of the U.S. Executive Committee. Emma also previously served as General Counsel, overseeing the legal, compliance and risk functions at Mesirow Advanced Strategies—one of the largest alternatives fund-of-funds managers globally at the time.

Previously, she was a partner in the Investment Management practice of the law firm Faegre Drinker, advising across investment product types, primarily in active equity and alternative strategies, including private equity. She began her career at Sidley Austin LLP’s Investment Funds, Products and Derivatives Group.

Emma is an independent director of First Bank Chicago, one of the largest privately held banks in Chicagoland. She serves on the board of Chicago television station WTTW and the Chicago classical music station WFMT. Additionally, she is a founder and board member of Angeles Investors, a Latino-focused angel investing group and is a member of the Latino Corporate Directors Association. A native of Puerto Rico, Emma graduated with a JD from the University of Chicago Law School and a BA, summa cum laude, from Saint Louis University. She is qualified as a Chief Compliance Officer by the Canadian Securities Institute and holds Diligent’s Climate Leadership Certification.