Highland Capital Management is currently known as one of the United States’ top investment management agencies, headed by president James Dondero. The alternative investment group was founded some twenty-some years ago, in January of 1990. James “Jim” Dondero, alongside business partner Mark Okada, founded Highland Capital Management via a partnership with Protective Life Insurance Corporation. Three years later, the group adopted the title Protective Asset Management Company, or PAMCO for short. PAMCO was owned 40% by Dondero and Okada, the remainder belonging to Protective Life Insurance Corporation. The partners bought out the insurance company’s 60% stake in 1997 and changed its name to Ranger Asset Management. In 1998, James Dondero and Mark Okada switched the newly-founded organization’s name to Highland Capital Management.
Prior to Dondero’s time at what came to be known as Highland Capital Management, he was the chief investment officer at GIC, a subsidiary of Protective Life Insurance Company. From 1989 to 1993, after which the early stages of Highland began to form, Dondero spurred more than two billion dollars’ worth of growth in GIC.
Mr. Dondero jumpstarted his career by studying both accounting and finance at the University of Virginia. While at the Richmond, Virginia postsecondary institution, he was involved in the McIntire Schools of Commerce’s highest honor societies, Beta Gamma Sigma and Beta Alpha Psi. Originally planning to work in industrial accounting, Dondero earned the title of Certified Management Accountant, or CMA. He later went on to work towards the credential of Chartered Financial Analyst, CFA. Dondero was quickly hired on to financial servicer Morgan Guaranty in 1984, immediately contributing to the organization as a financial analyst.
Domestic credit card giant American Express provided him a position in analyzing bonds held by companies and corporations. Mr. James Dondero then fought his way up the workplace ladder, becoming a portfolio manager of an impressive one billion dollars‘ worth of static, passive income for their clients, finally leaving in 1989.
Today, James Dondero serves as the president of NexBank, a institutional banking facility with three locations throughout the Lone Star state, and co-founded the organization some years ago.