James Dondero is the Co-founder and President of Highland Capital Management (HCM), an alternative investment management firm based in Dallas, Texas. Founded in 1993, HCM’s offers of alternative investments include emerging markets, long/short equities, and natural resources.
Specializing in high-yield fixed-income and distressed investing as well as credit strategies, including credit hedge and long only funds, Highland is recognized as one of the largest and most experienced global alternative credit managers. Together with its affiliates, the corporation has roughly $20 billion in assets under management. Along with its main headquarters in Dallas, HCM also has offices in New York, Sao Paulo, Singapore, and Seoul.
Dondero oversees Highland Capital’s strategic investment and operational initiatives for retail and institutional products. He has spent upwards of three decades in the business of credit and equity with management experience in mortgage-backed securities, leveraged bank loans, and emerging market debt. Dondero is recognized as a pioneer in developing the Collateralized Loan Obligation (CLO) market as well as developing credit oriented solutions for institutional and retail investors.
Graduating Beta Gamma Sigma from the McIntire School of Commerce from the University of Virginia in 1984, Dondero earned a Bachelor of Science in Commerce with dual majors in Accounting and Finance. He then began his career as an analyst in the Morgan Guaranty training program. Along with graduating from the program, Dondero is also a Certified Management Accountant (CMA) and Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA).
From 1985 to 1989, Dondero transition from Corporate Bond Analyst to Portfolio Manager at American Express where he managed approximately $1 billion in fixed income. Dondero also served as Chief Investment Officer of Protective Life, aiding in building the GIC subsidiary to over $2B in AUM in four years’ time. Dondero is also Chairman of Cornerstone Health Care, CCS Medical, and Nexbank, as well as a board member of American Bank Note and MGM Studios.
Dondero has received various awards for his expert management, including Morningstar’s 5-star title for Global Allocation and Morningstar’s #1 ranked Healthcare Long/Short Equity Fund, both in 2014. In addition, Dondero is an active philanthropist who supports initiatives in topics such as education, veteran’s affairs, and public policy.
For more information follow Highland Financial on Twitter.