How James Dondero Came to be the President of One of America’s Top Investment Firms

With help from longtime business partner Mark Okada, James Dondero co-founded Highland Capital Management way back in 1997. To this very day, both Okada and Dondero serve Highland’s many needs, collectively managing more than eighteen billion dollars’ worth of investments for their valued clients. Under Mr. Dondero’s leadership, the alternative investment management firm has offices throughout the wold, including New York City, Singapore, and London.

Mr. James Dondero has been subject to a handful of awards throughout his time at one of America’s top investment organizations. The Morningstar 5-Star Designation for Global Allocaiton, Morningstar #1 Healthcare Long/Short Equity Fund, and Lipper Award for Floating Rate Opportunities, all earned in 2014. These awards come after the thirty years Mr. Dondero has spent in the financial services industry, helping innovate the collateralized loan obligation, or investments whose potential default are held solid by organizations’ loans.

As with many people who experience otherworldly levels of success in their careers, Mr. Dondero has given back to innumerable communities through Highland Capital Management’s earned income. Dondero, via Highland Capital Management, gave a one million dollar grant to Finish The Family Place.

Dondero commandeered a donation in the same denomination as above, which went to building a large “Hippo Hut” at the Dallas Zoo, sharing hometowns with Highland Capital Management. On a second occasion, Highland Capital Management provided yet¬†another¬†million dollar sum to help take care of the hippopotamuses at the Dallas Zoo, this time building the Highland Capital Lodge. Other good causes he’s pushed money towards are the Perot Museum of Natural Science, George W. Bush President Library, and Southern Methodist University’s Tower Scholars Program.

James Dondero currently serves NexBank Capital as its chairman, also serving with his must-have partner Mark Okada, who is a director at NexBank. Highland Capital Management has more than $18 billion of managed assets, whereas NexBank has $6.4 billion’s worth of assets under closely monitored management.

Mr. Dondero attended the University of Virginia, where he graduated with two bachelor’s degrees, one in accounting, the other in finance. Originally planning to be an accountant, he earned the CMA and CFA credential, only to never use them as one of America’s top investment overseers.

Find more information on James Dondero on LinkedIn

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