James Dondero: A Financial Genius

James Dondero is a veteran of the game when it comes to the investment industry. With a wealth of experience spanning more than 3 decades, he has extensive knowledge in high-yield bonds, leveraged bank loans, mortgage backed securities, emerging market debts, common stocks and preferred stocks among other financial fields.

Mr. James Dondero on linkedin, or Jim as he is commonly referred to, graduated with a Bachelors of Science degree in commerce with the highest honors majoring in Accounts and Finance, Beta Gamma Sigma from the University of Virginia. He is also a Certified Public Account, a Chartered Financial Analyst and a Certified Managerial Accountant. He has affiliations with financial giants Highland Capital Management, NexPoint Residential Trust Inc. among many other companies and organizations.

In the 80s, Mr. Dondero managed around $1 billion for American Express. Between 1989 and 1993, Jim worked as Protective Life GIC’s subsidiary’s Chief Investment Officer where he drove the company from its infancy to $2 billion during the short period he was there. James co-founded Highland Capital Management in 1993 with Mark Okada help’s focusing on credit. The company has led the way in developing the Collateralized Loan Obligation market and finding credit based solutions for real and institutional investors globally. The company has received numerous awards for their other product offerings such as CLOs, mutual trust funds, hedge funds, ETFs and REITs. The awards received include the Lipper Award for Floating Rate Opportunities (2014) and Morningstar’s 5-star designation for Global Allocation (2014). The financial company currently has more than $20 billion under its management. However, part of this AUM is invested in equities.

Mr. Dondero currently serves as the President of Highland Capital Management. In May 2015, James was appointed as a member of the Nexpoint Residential Trust Inc. Board of directors together with Arthur Laffer. Dondero became Chairman of the Board while Mr. Laffer was appointed the Chairman of the Compensation Committee. Founder and chair of Laffer Associates, a firm for economic research and consultation, Arthur Laffer was part of President Ronald Reagan’s Economic Policy Advisory Board. His works have earned him a reputation as the Father of Supply-side economics. He has served in Boards of both Private and Public companies before including the staffing company that was sold for $1.3 billion in 2009. Dr. Laffer has affiliations with the University of Chicago, the University of Southern California and the Pepperdine University. His Laffer curve that showed how government tax receipts can increase when federal income tax rates are reduced was one of the things on which Reaganomics was based.

Nexpoint Residential Trust Inc. is a REIT that trades publicly on the New York Stock Exchange. It basically focuses on the acquisition, ownership and operation of middle-income properties that have the potential to increase in value within large cities and the suburbs around such cities.

Currently, Mr. Dondero sits on the Board of Directors of MGM Studios, American Banknotes, NexBank SSB, Neighbor Inc. and Safety-Kleen Inc. among others. Jim is also known for his philanthropic activities.

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