James Dondero has guided Highland Capital’s endeavors to build a solid portfolio and attract clients into its Global Allocation Fund. Dondero has studied the markets well in his 30 plus years as a portfolio manager and recently he’s accurately predicted that American Airlines was worth more than their current stock listing. According to an article published in Barron’s, Dondero was one of the few economists predicting Argentina’s economy would see a recovery under new President Mauricio Macri. Perhaps most stunning was when Dondero took a local energy company, Vistra Energy that even billionaire investor Warren Buffet had been unable to turn profits on.
James Dondero has a long history in investment banking having entered the profession with a degree in accounting and finance from the prestigious University of Virginia School of Business. Dondero was looking to get into real estate, but when the roadblocks came there he decided to become a credit analyst. He completed the Morgan Guaranty program and joined American Express bank in the 1980s, and pretty soon he started managing fixed income funds and specialized investments for clients. The start of Highland Capital for Dondero actually began as a concept that Protective Life placed him in charge of. He took that concept and soon created a subsidiary investment firm. As the firm’s assets under management grew to over $2 billion and more clients came, Dondero made enough money to take the company public.
Once James Dondero had made enough income to buy the remaining shares of GIC, it became known as Highland Capital. Highland Capital first based its services in collateralized loan obligations, a new form of bonds that Dondero was a strong advocate for. But since then Highland Capital has added a variety of strategies to its private equity including healthcare, long-term and short-term equity, real estate, distress funds and structured products. Dondero is a member of several major banking and healthcare advisory boards including Cornerstone Healthcare, Nexbank, CCS Medical and MGM Studios. He is also a philanthropist who helped a local Dallas domestic violence shelter agency match a grant to complete their new facility, and he’s also a contributor to Reasoning Mind.