Ian Webber, who was most recently country head and director of sales for Asia-Pacific at Artio Global Investors, will lead the business in the region, the firm said.
Webber has 15 years of experience and has worked with firms such as JP Morgan Investment Management, Salomon Smith Barney/Citigroup Asset Management and AXA Rosenberg Investment Management.
Chicago-based Ariel specialises in managing all-cap international equity portfolios, as well as US small- and mid-cap equities strategies.
The firm said it often uses a contrarian investment style to identify and own quality businesses that are misunderstood and mispriced.
The Ariel Global Fund, according to the firm, is benchmark agnostic and typically invests in 75 to 100 stocks, with a high concentration across the top 10 holdings.
The vehicle was launched in 2011 under the leadership of Rupal Bhansali, chief investment officer for global equities. Bhansali and her equity team are based in New York. She also manages the Ariel International Fund.
The firm believes the product will have traction with Asia pension funds and Australia's super annuation funds.