News & Insights

One Shared Vision, Two Decades, and InfiniteWisdom

In the early 2000s, amid successful careers in the financial sector, Rodney B. Herenton, Wendell E. Mackey, and Eric T. McKissack found themselves yearning for something more. Each was following a career path unique to their individual goals and passions, but all were united by a desire to create more than a mere financial legacy for themselves. They wanted to build something of their own — a boutique investment firm and strategy that would generate solid long-term investment returns designed to help investors build a legacy of their own.

At the time, Wendell was a portfolio manager at Valenzuela and Eric had previously worked at Ariel Investments. Both were passionate about stock picking and knew they wanted to continue managing portfolios. Rodney’s unique experience on Wall Street added a critical dimension to the mix given his senior leadership role at Morgan Keegan were he focused on IPO execution, M&A transactions, and business development.

Introduced by colleagues, the trio discovered their unique chemistry, complementary skillsets, and a mutual passion for identifying undervalued investment opportunities made them the ideal architects to build a boutique investment management firm. As discussions evolved and ideas took root, it became apparent that investing in public equities was in their DNA.

Following the sale of Morgan Keegan to Regions Financial Corporation in 2000, Rodney approached the C-suite leadership of Regions Morgan Keegan to consider a strategic partnership to help launch an African American-owned investment management firm. This began the formation of the blueprint for a strategy anchored in intrinsic value investing, with a specific focus on U.S. small cap and mid cap equities.  In this niche area of the market, the three entrepreneurs believed their collective experience and skills would not only deliver robust long-term investment results but also lay the foundation for a financial legacy.

In 2003, with a vision, plan, and investment strategy firmly in place, Rodney, Wendell, and Eric (now retired), launched Channing Capital Management with $70.0 million in seed assets from Regions Morgan Keegan.

Fast forward nearly 20 years, and Channing stands as a testament to their vision. While maintaining our identity as a boutique investment firm, we’ve diversified our strategy offerings beyond our flagship small-cap value equity portfolio, fostering partnerships with boutique managers renowned for their expertise in various opportunistic strategies. These strategies, though under the Channing umbrella, retain their independence, with each leader and entrepreneur entrusted to steer the destiny of their respective products.

Channing’s name and logo, an owl, embody the wisdom, expertise, and opportunistic spirit we apply to our work, particularly in our role as custodians of clients’ assets. Much like the regal owl epitomizes intelligence, precision, patience, and stewardship, Channing encompasses these and other traits crucial to the success of our clients.

As we celebrate 20 years, with $4.0 billion in total assets under management, we honor a legacy built on wisdom, opportunity, and unwavering dedication.