From his beginnings as a bond analyst and a portfolio manager, James Dondero has gone on to run one of the most successful investment firms in the country. Founded in 1993, Highland Capital Management, headquartered in Dallas, Texas, now has offices in New York, Brazil, Singapore, and South Korea, and has assets totaling almost $15 billion. One reason for Highland’s massive success is Dondero’s development of collateralized loan obligation and credit solutions. Dondero also offers Highland clients various means of asset management, including hedge funds, private equity funds, mutual funds, and institutional separate accounts.
Following his graduation from the University of Virginia’s McIntire School of Commerce, Dondero went to work as a bond analyst for American Express. He later became the Chief Investment Officer for Protective Life’s GIV subsidiary and grew it into a $2 billion dollar business. Then in 1993, he established Highland Capital Management. The company’s success has not only benefited its clients, but many charitable organizations. Dondero has contributed money to a variety of causes and groups. These include the Perot Museum of Natural History, the Snowball Express, which helps the children of military veterans, Education is Freedom, and the Southern Methodist University Tower Scholars Program.
Investing and philanthropy are not the only areas where Dondero has an interest. Recently, he announced that Highland Capital Management is getting into the real estate business. Dondero said that his company is planning to build a luxury apartment complex in Phoenix, Arizona.