James Dondero, the Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of Highland Capital Management, is considered as a wizard in the alternate credit industry with innovative product solutions that suit the needs of the majority. He also adds an experience of more than three decades in the equity and credit markets and its solutions are mostly targeting retail and institutional investors. Dondero is considered to be one of the pioneers who designed Collateralized Loan Obligations or CLOs and introduced in the market for the first time. He is also known as a philanthropist with the contribution of both money and resources to specific areas that address overall development of societies.
Dondero founded Highland Capital in the year 1993, along with his partner Mark Okada, and he led the firm to grow as one of the most experienced and biggest alternate credit companies in the world. He is very keen that Highland Capital offers diverse and innovative products to the customers, and this made the firm holding most diversified client base including governments, corporations, public pension plans, financial institutions, foundations and endowments, fund of funds, mutual fund investors, and high net-worth individuals. Apart from being the CEO, Dondero is also a Portfolio Manager in the firm, and his funds have received accolades from the industrial bodies multiple times for their performance. His products won the 5-star designation from Morningstar in its 2014 Global Allocation, Lipper Award 2014, and Healthcare Long/Short Fund 2014 from Morningstar.
It should be noted that the firm currently manages assets approximately $15 billion under the leadership of Dondero. Before founding Highland, He worked as the Chief Investment Officer at Protective Life’s GIC subsidiary and made its business growing to $2 billion from a start-up within five years. Dondero also worked with American Express, and he managed more than $1 billion fixed income funds. He completed his graduation from the University of Virginia in Finance and Accounting and also completed industrial certifications such as CFA and CMA. Dondero is also known for many philanthropic activities and offered $1 million Challenge Grant to Family Place in 2016. He also supports Education is Freedom, a non-profit offering financial aid to at-risk youth for the college education.