Ariel Investments is the largest minority-owned investment firm in the nation. For more than ten years, Ariel has been committed to financial literacy and promoting sound investments among minority communities.
The Raben Group was retained by Ariel to raise awareness about the racial and ethnic disparities that exist in retirement saving and investing, a project that involved civil rights, education, economic security and fair labor issues. Our team developed a full advocacy campaign, incorporating outreach to congressional targets, Obama Administration officials, corporations, municipalities, labor unions and a range of stakeholder organizations.
To advance our campaign, we worked with Ariel Education Initiative, the nonprofit affiliate of Ariel Investments, to secure a grant from the Rockefeller Foundation for a groundbreaking study examining the underinvestment of minorities in corporate 401(k) plans. The Raben Group identified leading civil rights groups and economic experts to collaborate in the study, which is the largest and most comprehensive of its kind.
Ariel’s work, along with the study, attracted wide-spread attention in the media, and gained interest in key public policy circles. Most recently, the Department of Labor assigned a working group to examine these retirement disparities, which will produce recommendations for Secretary Solis to review and implement.
The Raben Group worked with Sen. Kohl’s staff and the Office of Personnel Management to conduct a similar study that reviewed 1.5 million federal employee retirement plans. The Raben Group is also working with Congress and other third parties to draw attention to this policy issue. While the path to closing the wealth gap remains a formidable one, the work of Ariel and The Raben Group has increased awareness around the problem, while providing effective solutions to solve it.