James Dondero is extremely busy in the financial industry where he has been working specifically in the credit markets. Before his illustrious career began, he received his education from the University of Virginia’s McIntire School of Commerce where he earned two Bachelor of Science degrees in Commerce (Accounting and Finance).
His experience began with a financial training program with JP Morgan in 1984. That led him to American Express from 1985 to 1989 where he was responsible for managing $1 billion in fixed income funds. In 1989, James was the Chief Investment Officer for Protective Life’s GIC Subsidiary. The company started out as a concept, but while James was there, he succeeded in turning the firm into a $2 billion dollar enterprise.
In 1993, James decided that it was time for him to start his own investment firm, and he called it “Highland Capital Management, L.P.” He is currently the president of this firm that has a place amongst the largest global alternative credit managers in the world. Some of the company’s specialties include collateralized loan obligations, credit hedge funds, distressed and special situations private equity and long-only funds.
James Dondero lives in Dallas, Texas, and he has his headquarters in the city, but he also maintains offices in Seoul, Singapore and New York.
James Dondero’s life is dedicated to his work, but he also makes time to participate in charitable ventures. He is a highly concerned citizen from the city of Dallas and has embarked upon many projects that were meant to make the city a much more pleasant place for its residents. One of those projects was the Dallas Zoo.
The Dallas Zoo was forced to close its hippo habitat 15 years ago when the hippo known as “Papa” died in 2001. Thanks to James Dondero, the hippos are back! The Simmons Hippo Outpost required $14 million to build, and Highland Capital Management donated $1 million toward the effort. With the money, the zoo was able to construct a 5,000-foot “Highland Capital Lodge” that gives hippo-lovers a view of the creatures that have been missing for 15 years.
James stated that he and his company concentrate on organizations that bring Dallas into the future. He is very happy to be a part of a company that promotes educational experiences to the public and makes it possible to view hippos without having to travel all the way to Africa.
James Dondero has taken the initiative to help other organizations as well. He and Highland Capital Management donated toward the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Institute, the Perot Museum of Natural Science, the Snowball Express, the Education is Freedom Charity, Uplift Education and the SMU’s Tower Scholars Program.