Highland Capital Management is -known as a top global alternative asset manager that focuses on credit investments. Highland, an SEC-registered investment adviser, is one of the pioneers of corporate loans into CLOs and has an extensive client base that is varied in nature and they include corporations, governments, and financial institutions among many other bodies. This firm deals with hedged fixed income markets as its major area of specialization. The firm comprises of assets worth $18.7 billion and counting. It boasts of a vast number of employees who are more than 100 employees with two international branches namely London and Singapore. This has led to a wider market range whereby they can easily offer their services to remote locations thus giving them a larger client base.
The company was founded in 1993 and has over the years grown to be a leading alternative investment manager preferred by most influential persons and institutions. Thanks to its founders James Dondero and Mark Okada, who have been extremely adept at the credit markets. The fund also deals with miniature portions of this AUM in equities. The two worked for Protective and three years later diversified their operation and created a joint venture with Protective that later transformed into Highlands while they relocated to Dallas. They then acquired the entire company in 1997.
Mr. James Dondero serves as the President Co-Founder, Portfolio Manager and Managing Partner Highland Capital Management where he handles the execution of the firm’s operational initiatives and strategic investment. Since the inception of the firm, Dondero has been skilled at effectively managing the private equity business. His prowess can be understood for his 30 years of experience in the equity and credit markets that primarily concentrates on distressed and high-yield investing. To add on this, Mr. Dondero is also recognized as one of the original masters of Collateralized Loan Obligation (CLO) market and in upgrading credit-oriented solutions that he has incorporated in Highlands Capital Management. This has attracted the prominent clients ranging from institutional investors to retail investors across the world. Currently, CLOs have maintained the biggest unscathed in contrast to collateralized debt obligations that had a rough time during the 2008 financial crunch.
As a number cruncher in analysis and a self-disciplined personality, Dondero has gathered a trove of knowledge in investment banks that has enabled Highlands offer various award-winning services dealing with CLOs, hedge funds, institutional separate accounts, REITs, ETFs, mutual funds, and private equity funds. His knowledge on investing was attained from the University of Virginia where he attained his Bachelor of Science in Commerce (Accounting and Finance) focusing on Accounting and Finance back in 1984. James Dondero is also a Certified Managerial Accountant, a Certified Public Accountant as well as a Chartered Financial Analyst designation holder.
Prior to founding Highlands Capital Management, Dondero plied his work with Protective Life’s GIC subsidiary a firm that saw him raise and handle over $2 billion in assets. In 1985 to 1989, he was employed by American Express where he handled an estimated 1 billion in fixed income funds.