James Dondero is the CEO and founder of Highland Capital Management. He earned degrees in accounting and finance from the University of Virginia, with the highest honors – Beta Gamma Sigma, Beta Alpha Psi. He has earned the right to use the CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) designation.
In 1984, James Dondero began as an analyst. He worked with the Morgan Guaranty training program, and is a certified management accountant.
Between 1985 and 1989, Dondero worked for American Express on linkedin.com. Here he managed about $1 billion in funds.
After working for American Express, he started at Protective Life, employed as the GIC subsidiary. In this position he was responsible for raising and then managing over $2 billion in assets for the company.
Earlier in 2015, Dondero was named one of the members of NexPoint Residential Trust, Inc.’s board of directions. He is the chairman of the board. He is to work alongside Arthur Laffer, who was appointed the chairman of the compensation committee.
At Highland Capital Management, he manages about $20 billion in funds. This fund, however, invests a small percent into equities for the company.
He founded the company in 1993, with Mark Okada. The company pioneered new investment methods, such as the Collateralized Loan Obligation (CLO). They launched the first non-bank verison of the CLO in 1996.
Not only is he the CEO of Highland Capital Management, he is also the chairman of the board of directors for NexBank, CCS Medical and Cornerstone Healthcare. He is quite a successful man, and has the high positions to prove it.
Other high profile positions he currently occupies are serving on the board of directors for American Banknote Corporation and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. Among the reasons are the fact that his portfolio includes a lot: emerging market debt, real estate, derivatives, common and preferred stocks, and high-yield bonds. This isn’t even everything that is in his portfolio.
Other positions he has held include the chief executive officer and president of Highland Floating Rate Advantage Fund, portfolio manager for the same company, and even a director at MGM Holdings, Inc. Since October 2001, he has been a director of the NeighborCare, Inc, and of Safety-Kleen since February 2010. He has also served as the chairman and director of Prospect Street Income Shares, Inc., and Phy since July of 2001. He has been a director of TerreStar Corporation since July 2002, and has held many other high profile positions in a variety of other corporations.