For a man with a thirty year experience in credit and equity markets particularly focusing on high-yield and distressed investing, James David Dondero, commonly referred to as Jim on Linked In is a force to reckon with. He is the co-founder, president managing partner and portfolio manager of Highland Capital Management which a Dallas-based investment management firm.
The firm was started in 1993 and it has since been a pioneer in the development of Collateralized Loan Obligation market and also in developing credit solutions for retail investors as well as institutional investors all over the world. The firm has had award winning product offerings some of which include hedge funds, private equity funds, institutional separate accounts, CLOs and mutual funds among others. Some of these awards include, the Lipper Award for Floating Rate Opportunities which was received in 2014 and Morningstar’s 5-star designation for Global Allocation. However the journey of the brains behind all the running and management of the firm did not begin from the inception of the firm.
James Dondero of Bloomberg Research journey began in 1984 in the Morgan Guaranty training program as an analyst. This was after he graduated from the University of Virginia from the McIntire School of Commerce with not a single but dual major in Accounting and Finance with the highest honors. He became a Corporate Bond Analyst and later the Portfolio Manager at American Express between 1985 and 1989. This was a good climb up the ladder of success. From the American Express, Dondero helped build out the GIC subsidiary of Protective Life from inception to over two billion dollars in AUM between 1989 to 1993 when he served as the Chief Investment Officer. It is these huge successes in the analysts’ world that made pushed him into starting his own firm and together with Mark Okada they formed Highland Capital Management.
Other qualifications making him a great analyst is the fact that he is Certified Management Accountant and has earned the right to use the Chartered Financial Analyst designation. For this reason, he not only manages the firm but also responsible for determining and ensuring that the firm’s strategic investment and operational initiatives are successfully executed. Mr. Dondero’s exceptional leadership skills are not only witnessed in his management of Highland Capital Management.
He serves as a board member of MGM Studios and American Banknote. Other than that, he is also Chairman of Nexbank, CCS Medical Corporation and Cornerstone Healthcare. He as affiliations with a number of companies including Safety-Kleen Inc, NeibourCare Inc among others.
Mr. James Dondero is also known to be actively in a number of philanthropic activities. This is because he does regular donations to a number of initiatives aimed at improving the lives of people who are in need. The contributions he makes are mostly directed to education funds, veteran’s affairs and public policy.
Today, James Dondero is a man who is described as a high-quality individual and the reason he has earned such high accolades is his tremendous success in financial business world, a world of figures and algorithms.