James Dondero has been investing in domestic and foreign companies since starting his firm Highland Capital in 1998. Dondero’s company has billions in assets under management and has become a reputable wealth management entity for some of the nation’s most affluent clients. Dondero’s expertise and ability to read the trends of the markets has led to some noteworthy investments that Barron’s, the major business magazine mentioned in its latest edition.
Dondero has been attracting clients to his Highland Global Allocation fund which has been a source of some of his high risk acquisitions. Dondero invested in Argentina’s sovereign debt while the nation was taking a downturn at the end of former President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner’s term, but he seemed to know that current president Mauricio Macri was going to be making many fiscal changes that increased the value of the nation’s currency. Later Dondero and Highland Capital’s executives decided to buyout Vistra Energy and started turning its assets into private equity and the formerly bankrupt company is now on its way up.
James Dondero is known for having brought collateralized loan obligations to the forefront of investing, a form of bonds that have multiple pools that exist to try and offset the high risks of one borrower to lower risks in another. Prior to cofounding Highland Capital, Dondero grew up in Hoboken, NJ and attended the University of Virginia where after completing an accounting and finance degree he expected to go into real estate brokering. But when that path didn’t work, Dondero went into credit analysis and completed the Morgan Guaranty credit training program associated with American Express bank.
After serving at American Express bank for several years, Dondero was invited to join the team at Protective Life Insurance where he was placed in charge of their GIC subsidiary. He managed to attract a lot of investors to this new company which grew from simply a concept to a firm with over $2 billion in assets under management. Dondero has since turned the firm’s specialty in private equity that includes long and short-term equity, distressed funds, fixed income, and high yield credit. Dondero is also an advisor for NexPoint Capital, Nexbank, MGM Studios, Cornerstone Health and CSC Medical.