Dallas is fortunate to have James Dondero choose Dallas as the home for his family and his firm, Highland Capital Management. As a professional and a philanthropist, Dondero enriches this city.
Dondero graduated from the University of Virginia, the McIntire School of Commerce, in 1984. after majoring in Commerce (with concentrations in Accounting and Finance). He graduated Beta Gamma Sigma. He is a Certified Public Accountant, Chartered Financial Analyst and Certified Managerial Accountant. But those qualifications and designations are just small signs of his professional experience and expertise. He completed his financial training program at JP Morgan.
Dondero went on to work for American Express. First he was a corporate bond analyst. He went on to manage $1 billion in fixed income funds. He held that position to 1989. He went on to serve as the Chief Investment Officer of Protective Life’s division for sellling Guaranteed Investment Contracts. That’s a form of investing that’s similar to money market funds except it’s backed up by insurance companies. Starting from scratch in 1989, he built the business to $2 billion by 1993.
That’s the year he co-founded Highland Capital Management. He serves as the firm’s current president. He serves as Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Highland Acquisition Corporation. He manages the side of Highland that deals with private equity. he determines Highland’s strategic initiatives and makes sure they are carried out. Thanks to Dondero’s innovation and deep understanding of the financial markets, Highland offers both individual and institutional investors remarkable products to help them protect and grow their fortunes.
He has grown Highland to nearly $15 billion in assets under management. The fund received Morningstar’s 5-star rating for Global Allocation in 2014. And it was Morningstar’s top pick for 2014 for a Long/Short Equity Healthcare fund. It won the Lipper Award for Floating Rate Opportunities for 2014.
Dondero is also known in Dallas for his generous contributions to many worthwhile causes. Thanks to him and donations from Highland Management, the Dallas Zoo again has hippos. Also, Highland is paying for Highland Capital Lodge, a center the zoo will use for special displays.