Robert L. Johnson is the Founder and Chairman of The RLJ Companies, an innovative business network that owns or holds interests in a diverse portfolio of companies including RLJ Equity Partners. Prior to forming The RLJ Companies, Mr. Johnson was Founder and Chairman of Black Entertainment Television (BET), the nation’s first and leading television network providing quality entertainment, music, news, sports and public affairs programming for the African American audience. Under Mr. Johnson’s leadership, BET became the first African American owned company publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange. In 2001, Mr. Johnson sold BET to Viacom for approximately $3 billion and remained the Chief Executive Officer through 2006. In July 2007, Mr. Johnson was named by USA Today as one of the 25 most influential business leaders of the past 25 years.
Mr. Johnson serves on the boards of RLJ Lodging Trust, G-III Apparel Group, The Business Council, and Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of African American History and Culture.
Mr. Johnson holds a bachelor’s degree in social studies from the University of Illinois and a master’s degree in international affairs from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University.
Mr. Howard is a Partner at RLJ and leverages over 19 years of private equity experience. He is responsible for sourcing, evaluating, executing, and monitoring investments primarily in the Business and Industrial Services sectors. Mr. Howard is a member of the firm’s investment committee and exit committee, and he currently serves on the Board of Directors of Crossfuze (Chairman), Enhanced Resource Centers, Flow Service Partners (Chairman), Naylor Association Solutions (Chairman), and Ogle School (Chairman).
Mr. Rivers is a Partner at RLJ and leverages over 30 years of industry experience. He is responsible for the firm’s administration, fundraising, and investor relations as well as sourcing, evaluating, executing, and monitoring the firm’s investments. Rufus is a member of the firm’s investment committee and exit committee, and he currently serves on the Board of Directors of Crossfuze, Enhanced Resource Centers, Flow Service Partners, Growers House (Chairman), Native Maine Produce & Specialty Foods, Naylor Association Solutions, and Ogle School.
Mr. Smith is a Partner at RLJ and brings over 15 years of private equity experience. He is responsible for sourcing, evaluating, executing, and monitoring investments primarily in the Business and Industrial Services sectors. Mr. Smith is a member of the firm’s investment committee and exit committee, and he currently serves on the Board of Directors of Native Maine Produce & Specialty Foods (Chairman) and manages RLJ’s non-core investments in J&J Transport and Tok & Stok Ltd.
Mr. Weir joined RLJ Equity Partners in 2019. Prior to RLJ Equity Partners, Mr. Weir was an Analyst at Robert W. Baird in their Energy Investment Banking Group. Prior to Baird, Mr. Weir was an Analyst at UnitedHealth in their Mergers & Acquisitions Group. Mr. Weir received his B.S. from Marquette University.
Mr. Muruts joined RLJ Equity Partners in 2022. Prior to RLJ Equity Partners, Mr. Muruts was an Associate and Senior Analyst at Acquco in their M&A and Strategy group. Prior to Acquco, Mr. Muruts was an Analyst at UBS in their Healthcare Investment Banking Group. Mr. Muruts received his B.A. from Duke University.
Mrs. Thomas is the Executive Vice President of Finance at the RLJ Companies, as well as the Chief Compliance Officer of RLJ Equity Partners. Prior to joining the RLJ Companies, Mrs. Thomas was Assistant Controller at Freddie Mac, providing reporting and credit analysis related to securitization and mortgage guarantees. Prior to Freddie Mac, Mrs. Thomas was an Associate Vice President at The Carlyle Group, where she was responsible for corporate financial and managerial accounting functions, budgeting and forecasting, and corporate compliance; and served in a variety of roles for more than 10 years, including Manager of Accounting and Assistant Controller. Mrs. Thomas received her B.S. from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, and is a Certified Public Accountant.