Deep in the heart of Texas, investor James Dondero has worked to build a portfolio of accomplishments, not just in finance but within his Dallas community. His work as a hedge fund manager and investor led to Dondero becoming co-founder and president of Highland Capital Management, but his achievements span far beyond his company.
Starting his now 30 year finance career at the University of Virginia, Dondero double majored in Accounting and Finance, graduating with the highest honors of Beta Game Sigma and Beta Alpha Psi. That same year, he began working as an analyst with the Morgan Guaranty training program, then went onto join American Express as a corporate bond analyst. Less than 5 years later, Dondero was a portfolio manager for American Express, managing approximately $1 billion in fixed income funds.
Becoming co-founder of Highland Capital Management in 1993, Dondero foraged Highland into collateralized loan obligation and credit-oriented solutions for both institutional and retail investors around the world. In addition to being president and co-founder of Highland, Dondero is the chairman and president of NexPoint Residential Trust, chairman of NexBank Capital, and is a board member of Jernigan Capital, to name just a few of his finance achievements and commitments.
It is Dondero’s commitment to Dallas’ and his own community where he wants to make the biggest waves. When the Dallas Zoo was forced to close its hippopotamus habitat, Dondero donated $1 million to help reopen the habitat. The Dallas Zoo has been able to continue their hippo habitat, now aptly named the Highland Capital Lodge.
To capitalize on the philanthropic work he can accomplish, Dondero formed the Highland Dallas Foundation with Mary Jalonick in an effort to dedicate more than $3 million each year to his chosen charities. The foundation focuses on helping support veterans, education, and healthcare in the Dallas area. Dondero’s love of finance has enabled him to give back even greater to the city that has his heart, Dallas.