The University of Virginia graduate (1984) James Dondero is currently co-founder and President of Highland Capital Management, which is based in Dallas, Texas. James was a dual major in Accounting and Finance at the McIntire School of Commerce at UVA, where he graduated with the highest honors of Beta Gamma Sigma and Beta Alpha Psi. Upon graduating from UVA Mr. Dondero completed financial training at JP Morgan. He work at American Express from 1985-1989. His job there was to work with the income funds, in which he lead the department to over $1 billion in profits. The transition from American Express in 1989 to working at Protective Life’s GIC.
James worked from 1989-1993 as a chief investment officer at Protective Life’s GIC. There he was able to help the company grow to a $2 billion company with financial investments. In 1993 James, along with Mark Okada, founded Highland Capital Management in Dallas, Texas. Highland Capital Management is a credit management company that has offices in New York, Singapore, Sao Paulo and Seoul. The beginning of Highland Capital Management started as from Protective Life Insurance Company. The Protective Life Insurance venture became the Protective Asset Management Company, which then became Ranger Asset Management, LP. Later James and Mark renamed the company to Highland Capital Management L.P.
Highland Capital Management currently works with hedge funds, private equity funds, mutual funds, separate accounts, CLOs, REITs, and ETF accounts. Mr. Dondero developed collateralized obligation loan markets at Highland Capital, as well as determining and ensuring the execution of strategic investments and operational initiatives. James has also been involved in several other companies such as being chairman of Cornerstone Healthcare Group, CCS Medical, and NexBank. Mr. Dondero is on the board of directors of American Banknote and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM).
Under the his direction the Highland Capital Management has made several investments in the company and the employees that at the company. They also provide a number of volunteer opportunities for themselves such as Uplift Education, Snowball Express, Perot, JDRF, American Heart Association, Capital For Kids, the Dallas Zoo, and many more. Mr. Dondero has been busy in the investment and accounting industry. He has supported investors, individuals, and companies with growing their businesses. James has used his Commerce degree to his advantage here in the United States and worldwide. Mr. Dondero has would be a role model for the up and coming investors and accountants entering college and the business world.
Siohban L. Williams