Jim Dondero is one of the best alternative investment managers in the business. He is a University of Virginia graduate, and the co-founder of Highland Capital Management, one of the world’s top investments firms. Jim is an accountant, but he is also a forward-thinking investor who knows how to acquire assets that other investment firms overlook.
Mr. Dondero is a shrewd emerging market investor who is not afraid to jump into the Argentinian bond market or take a chance on a tech startup in Brazil or India. Over the last 25 years, Dondero and his management team have built an incredible internal business model with offices in Buenos Aires, Singapore, New York, Seoul and Sao Paulo. With more than $16 billion in assets under management, Highland Capital Management is a force to reckon with in the financial industry, but the company is also a generous benefactor.
Dondero and the other co-founder, Mark Okada established the Highland Capital Dallas Foundation a few years ago. That organization supports several high-profile non-profits in the Dallas area. Jim and his company are avid Dallas Zoo supporters as well as Perot Museum and the Bush Center supporters. Highland Capital also plays an important role in giving domestic violence victims a chance to start over at the Family Place. The Family Place, as well as the Cox School of Business on the campus of Southern Methodist University, are two of Dondero’s personal passions. But the recent announcement that Highland Capital Management is the new presenter of the Bush Center’s Engage Series is fast becoming the main focus of Dondero and Highland Capital’s management team.
“Engage at the Bush Center, presented by Highland Capital Management,” brings leaders, authors, and people in the news to the campus of SMU for lectures, and discussions that focus on the challenges the world faces in the 21st-century. Highland Capital’s $10 million endowment gift gives the Bush Center the ability to attract people who wouldn’t normally visit the campus of SMU. But Highland Capital’s $10 million endowment is not the first contribution from Dondero and his company. The Alternative investment firm started supporting the Bush Center in 2012. Highland Capital put $5 million into the Bush Center’s bank account over the last six years. The CEO of Bush Center, Kenneth Hersh, thinks the $10 million endowment fund shows that James Dondero is making an investment in the future of the country and the world.
Highland Capital’s endowment gift will help the Bush Center sponsor important events, and that includes the “Highland Capital Lecture” Mr. Dondero is also joining Mr. Hersh’s Executive Advisory Council. Dondero is reinforcing his commitment to the Bush Center by offering his extensive experience, knowledge, and management capabilities to the Advisory Council. The first Engage Series program on February 5th was a success thanks to author Christopher Scalia. Mr. Scalia wrote a book about his father Justice Antonin Scalia. Christopher gave the audience a personal account of his father’s life, and he also gave the audience a rare look into the Justice Scalia’s life as a Supreme Court Justice.