James Dondero: the Man Behind the Success of Highland Capital Management

Highland Capital Management has an immense experience as alternative credit managers in giving various credit-oriented products. It was a creation of James Dondero in 1993 along with his co-founder Mark Okada. It is a well-recognized financial and credit institution. Its headquarters are in Dallas, Texas and has offices in Singapore, New York, Sao Paulo and Seoul.

 

Investment News listed Highland Floating Rate Opportunities among the top fund as the Best Performing Fixed Income Funds on its Loan Category list. Highland the company offers a wide range of innovative products including REITS, hedge funds, private equity funds and mutual funds. Its success stems from its outstanding strategies in place which include:

 

Investing in High-Yield Credit

Highland Capital Management has always focused on credit plans that lead to high yields. The high yield credit includes bank loans. The company has also been managing long term high yield credit funds as well as separate accounts as from the year 2000. Highland Capital Management is the largest bank loans manager globally.

 

Offering Structured Products

The company prides itself on offering unique structured products. In 2010, Highland Management Capital formed an affiliate company, Acis Capital Management which specializes in Collateralized Loan Obligation management and investment. A Collateralized Loan Obligation or simply CLO is an issuance of securities and equity tranche backed by flows of cash from a varied pool of senior secured corporate bank loans. Highland is among the pioneers of CLO market. Together with Acis, they manage the largest secondary CLO investment portfolio of up to $11b and over $2b of assets. The company seeks to attain attractive returns from CLO investing while minimizing its volatility.

 

Distressed and Special Circumstances Strategy

One of the company’s strategies is to employ a robust in-house operations crew in the industry. This team, in turn, invests in distressed middle market companies’ debt and equity. This team also works in conjunction with portfolio company management team to implement turnaround and find growth opportunities.

 

About James Dondero

Mr. Dondero is the co-founder and the president of Highland Capital Management. He currently lives in Dallas, Texas. He graduated from the University of Virginia with the highest honors. Dondero is also a Certified Management Accountant.

 

He started his career in 1984 as a financial analyst at Morgan Guaranty training program. Between 1985 and 1989, he was the Corporate Bond Analyst and Portfolio Manager at American Express. He is a very active philanthropist, supporting various initiatives in education, veteran affairs and in public policy.