James Dondero has more than 30 years of experience in the credit and equity markets. He has created numerous successful products and solutions for institutional and retail investors. He derives his strength through puzzle solving and thinking through complex debt deals, turnarounds, and emerging trends. He was born in Hoboken N.J. Dondero started his career as an analyst after graduating with Bachelor of Commerce degree in Accounting and Finance from the University of Virginia in 1984. He also holds certifications like CMA and CFA. Dondero joined American Express as a Corporate Bond Analyst in 1985 and later became the Portfolio Manager of close to 1 billion dollars in fixed income funds.
James Dondero is the president and co-founder of Highland Capital Management. James and Mark Okada partnered with Protective Life Insurance to launch the Highlands Capital Management in 1993.They moved the enterprise from Los Angeles to Dallas Texas where the Protective Life Insurance Corporation was based. They later purchased the protective life stake in the firm and have experienced tremendous growth ever since. Highland Capital Management offers investors access to winning investment ideas through the 894 million dollars Highland Global Allocation fund that holds a portfolio of close to 400 securities. Highland Capital Management focused mostly on credit. It has considered alternative investments and emerging themes.
Highland Capital Management structured and launched its first nonbank collateralized loan obligation in 1996. It established an alternative investment 40 ACT Platform and mutual fund in 2000. There was a negative debt swing that prompted Dondero and his team to look for emerging themes in 2012. They turned their focus into Argentina and did research that concluded that the country’s natural resources, developed infrastructure, and educated population would help to limit losses. They invested in the bond market of the country that appreciated in 2015. They had also started shopping for deals in the Hard Hit Limited and Partnership that own natural resources like oil, gas, pipelines, and storage facilities. The MLPs Index recorded a significant gain in 2016. The other emerging themes that he is dedicated to are wind power, tonopioid pain medication, and non-profits.