James Dondero is undoubtedly a popular name in Dallas. Most people know him as the current president and co-founder of Highland Capital Management, one of the largest and leading capital investment firms in Dallas. Nonetheless, his recent philanthropic efforts have helped to cement his reputation as a top supporter of community-based development projects and philanthropist, especially in the area. He is behind the joy expressed by many hippo and zoo lovers in Dallas, which stems from the re-establishment of a world-class hippo outpost situated at the Dallas Zoo.
This year’s spring season served as the rebirth of The Hippo Habitat, which is one of the zoo’s most stimulating sections. Dallas residents can now enjoy watching hippos at the zoo without having to travel to Africa. Through HCM, Dondero bankrolled the initiative by donating $1 million. The money was used in the reconstruction of the hippo outpost, which had been abandoned in 2001. Other philanthropists who took part in the initiative included Eugene Mc Dermott Foundation, Harold Simmons Foundation, as well as Diane and Hal Brierley.
Known to many as the president and co-founder of Highland Capital Management, James Dondero is charged with the company’s investment operations and strategies for retail and institutional products. He holds more than three decades worth of experience, especially in credit markets. James Dondero is also acknowledged for being one of the original pioneers of the CLO. Funds associated with his management have gone ahead to scoop several awards and accolades including the 2014’s Lipper Award for Floating Rate Opportunities and the 2014 Morningstar’s 5-star designation for Global Allocation.
Prior to co-establishing Highland Capital Management, Dondero held the role of chief investment officer at Protective Life’s GIC subsidiary. In fact, he managed to grow the company from a start-up to a $2 billion company in just five years. Before joining Protective Life, he worked for American Express where he was charged with managing nearly $1 billion in fixed income funds. Away from his vast industry experience, James Dondero is well-educated and holds top finance and accounting professional certificates such as CPA and CMA. These qualifications are additions to his accounting and finance degree from the University of Virginia.