He got his start at JP Morgan. However, before working at JP Morgan, James “Jim” Dondero received a number of degrees in accounting and finance from the University of Virginia. He departed four years later when American Express offered him a job. Read more at Wikipedia about James Dondero.
He put his degrees to work at American Express. He led their fixed income investment team and eventually started their alternative credit strategies program. He did quite well and experienced immense success. Eventually, this drew the attention of Protective Life, where in 1989 one of their subsidiaries named him their CIO. Four years later, he was running his own investment firm in Dallas, Texas.
Highland Capital Investment.
Today, Highland Capital Investment is one of the largest investment firms in the United States when measures by assets under management—they have $17 billion under management. Currently, they have offices in Singapore, Sao Paulo, Seoul, New York City, and of course Dallas. Their offices in Singapore, Sao Paulo, and Seoul are strategically located for Highland Capital Investment to have greater access and oversight over emerging markets. Learn more about James Dondero at High Yield Credit.
Work in Dallas
James Dondero has done significant philanthropic work in the Dallas area. He has been reported as contributing substantial donations to initiatives for improving education, protecting the environment, fighting poverty, and supporting the arts. One such effort has been his work with the Dallas Zoo.
In 2001, the Dallas Zoo had to shut down their prominent hippo exhibit. This was shortly after the death of their beloved elderly hippo named Papa. They pledge that they would not have another hippo exhibit until a suitable habitat could be constructed for them. James Dondero heard of their plans and donated $1 million to help build an improved habitat—that donation proved to be crucial.
Under the direction of James Dondero, Highland Capital Investment has proved to be crucial for the education of many people too. They made a $2 million endowment gift to Southern Methodist University. The endowment was given with the expectation that it would help exceptional students, who are interested in public service, to continue their studies.