Mr. Jim Dondero is a businessman and investor who is best known for his private equity firm Highland Capital Management. Highland was co-founded by Mr. Dondero and Mr. Mark Okada in 1993, in Dallas, Texas. Highland’s headquarters still lies in Dallas, Texas, to this day. Dondero serves as the president of Highland Capital Management to this day.
James Dondero went to the University of Virginia and graduated with a dual degree in Finance and Accounting in 1984. After graduating, he decided that he would go straight into the work force, and was able to start working at American Express as a Corporate Bond Analyst. A few years after starting there, Dondero was promoted to Portfolio Manager. It is estimated that he oversaw more than one billion US dollars worth of assets at American Express.
In 1989, Mr. Dondero decided to apply to Protective Life, where he found a job as Chief Investment Officer of the GIC subsidiary. After working there for four years, Dondero decided to branch off and create his own business. It was a risky decision, but it turned out well for Mr. James Dondero. Dondero and Okada had enough money of their own from their own business endeavors to successfully fund Highland Capital Management, which also received lots of funding from the initial investors.
Currently, it is estimated that Highland Capital Management oversees the operations of more than $20 billion of assets, ranking it as one of the largest private equity firms in the world. Highland specializes is the collateral loan obligation, which is basically various loans packaged together for people to purchase stake in, only to make more in the future. Highland also deals with many things dealing with business solutions and credit.
Highland Capital Management owns stake in many different companies, some of the most invested in include American Airls Group, Ishares TrustCALL, and Spdr Series TrustPUT.
Although Mr. James Dondero is very busy with Highland Capital Management, he serves on the board of directors of many other companies. He is the chairman of Cornerstone Healthcare Group Holding, NexBank Capital, Highland Financial Partners, and NexBank SSB. Mr. Dondero is also the director of MGM Holdings, American Banknote Corporation, NeighborCare, and Safety-Kleen.
Mr. Dondero’s most recent appointment to a board of directors was this May, when NexPoint Residential Trust, a large real estate company. James Dondero has been the president of NexPoint for a while, but just recently got on the board of directors, as well.
James Dondero has had a great career, and any aspiring businessperson should envy his career. He built his career by doing well in school, then getting a good job. Not everybody can luck up and land the jobs that Mr. Dondero did, but one can set one’s self up by doing as well in school as Dondero did. He actually graduated from the University of Virginia with the highest honors. He has also earned the titles of Certified Management Accountant, Certified Public Accountant, and Chartered Financial Analyst, which are not easy to earn.