James Dondero: A Shrewd Businessman and Philanthropist

James Dondero is a prominent figure in the financial sector. His reputation is owed to the fact he has more than three decades of experience in the equity and credit markets. Dondero’s fame also stems from running Highland Capital Management as a co-founder and president. Under his leadership, Highland Capital Management boasts of nearly $19 billion in assets.


Academic and Work History


James Dondero embarked on his career in 1984 after joining the Morgan Guaranty training program. During the same year, he received his double major in finance and accounting with the highest honors from the University of Virginia’s McIntire School of Commerce. Additionally, Dondero is a proud holder of various professional certifications including Chartered Financial Analyst and Certified Management Accountant.


Before establishing Highland Capital Management in 1993, James Dondero worked as the CIO of Protective Life’s GIC subsidiary. At the subsidiary company, Dondero is acknowledged for assisting the company to grow from concept to more than $2 billion. Previously, he worked for American Express from 1985 to 1989 in the capacity of a Corporate Bond Analyst. He was promoted to a portfolio manager for about $1 billion in the form of fixed income funds.




As a top executive in the financial sector, Dondero is associated with various organizations. He is the chairperson of the board of different companies like CCS Medical, Cornerstone Healthcare, NexPoint and NexBank. Dondero also serves on the board of numerous companies like MGM Studios and the American Banknote.


Charitable Efforts


Aside from being significantly involved in business matters, James Dondero has continuously demonstrated his generous spirit by supporting charitable causes. Some of the organizations that have benefited from his generosity include Snowball Express, Education is Freedom, the George W. Bush Presidential Library and SMU’s Tower Scholars Program, Perot Museum of Natural Science and Uplift Education.


Dondero is acknowledged for donating millions of dollars to support various charities and non-profits based in the Dallas area. His growing commitment to boost educational opportunities for individuals residing in the Dallas-Fort Worth area has led to the growth of the list of donations and partnerships that improve the livelihood of Dallas residents.


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