*BET creator Robert L. Johnson, founder and chairman of The RLJ Companies, announces the launch of RLJ Fixed Income, LLC, as part of the ongoing strategy to expand RLJ’s footprint in the financial services sector.

RLJ Fixed Income, in collaboration with Wealth Management Associates, has created a team to acquire bond and other debt instruments in the fixed income markets.

“I am very excited about launching RLJ Fixed Income and entering into the bond trading industry sector,” said Johnson. “Over the last year, we have expanded our asset management offerings including raising a $143 million special purpose acquisition company (SPAC), through RLJ Acquisition, Inc., and last month successfully took our hotel private equity fund public on the New York Stock Exchange now called, RLJ Lodging Trust,” he added.

“Entering into the fixed income trading business gives us the opportunity to strengthen our relationships with market participants and to join in an asset class that is a primary driver of capital access for companies and governments looking to raise capital using debt instruments for growth and development projects,” Johnson continued. “It is an area that is underrepresented by minority firms and we want to leverage our brand to open up the opportunity for ourselves and other emerging minority firms.”

The RLJ Companies, headquartered in Bethesda, MD, bills itself as a business network that provides strategic investments in a diverse portfolio of companies. Within The RLJ Companies portfolio, Johnson owns or holds interests in businesses operating in hotel real estate investment; private equity; financial services; asset management; insurance services; automobile dealerships; sports and entertainment; and video lottery terminal (VLT) gaming.