The co-founder and President of Highland Capital Management, James Dondero’s biggest strength is evaluating emerging issues, thinking through tough debt deals and making turnarounds. James has had some of the best investment ideas that have seen Highland Capital make huge profits. Although the initial idea of the company was to deal with credits, the firm has ventured to other fields. Highland Capital was founded by Mr. Dondero with Mark Okada. In 1997, they bought out the parent company and since then its human resource and assets have increased massively.
James Dondero and his team are risk takers and have invested in companies that other organizations in their field would not attempt. Vistra Energy was in an awful position when Highland Capital bought its senior secured debt. They later converted the debt to equity. Currently, Vistra Energy is doing quite well and even its shares are trading on the New York Stock Exchange. Highland Capital also bought Argentina’s bond in 2012 when their economy was failing. Research done by the firm showed that losses in the country would be limited, so it was a good move to get in. After 2015’s election, Mauricio Macri primary focus was to improve the economy and the value of the bonds bought by Highland Capital almost doubled. When Master Limited Partnerships’ index went down to 15%, James and his team invested in the company. By 2016, the index had moved to 18.3% making Highland Capital multiply its investment almost four times.
Philanthropic work of Highland Capital
Highland Capital is also involved in few charitable activities. The firm gives support to new non-profit organizations and Reasoning Mind. The Reasoning Mind develops technology that teaches math curriculum for pre-kindergarten up to the seventh grade, to help less privileged schools boost their math score.
James Dondero Career
Before co-founding Highland Capital, James Dondero worked at Protective Life’s GIC subsidiary as the chief investment officer and American Express managing its fixed income funds. He is also on the board of American Banknote, Cornerstone Healthcare, MGM Studios, CCS Medical Corporation and NexBank. His track record has seen funds associated with him get different awards.
James Dondero graduated with a bachelor in accounting and finance from the University of Virginia. He is also a Certified Management Accountant and has earned the right to use the Chartered Financial Analyst designation.