James Dondero is an entrepreneur and philanthropist in Dallas, Texas. He is the co founder and President of the Dallas based investment firm known as Highland Capital Management. Each day, James spends a lot of his time managing the firm. However, he also spends a lot of his time participating in a number of philanthropic activities. These activities are done in an effort to help make Dallas and the surrounding community a better place. Prior to starting his company and participating in philanthropy, James attended the University of Virginia. At this college, he studied accounting and finance at the McIntire School of Commerce. By earning two bachelor’s degrees, James would use this knowledge to help propel his career. When he finished college, he worked at JP Morgan Chase in 1984 where he was involved in the training program. In 1985, he would move on to work at American Express until 1989. By 1989, Dondero would become a chief investment officer at Protective Life GIC where he built the firm into a $2 billon business.
After working at Protective Life GIC Subsidiary, James Dondero would co found his firm Highland Capital Management. During the next several years, Dondero would gradually build the firm into one of the leading credit management investment firms in both the United States and the rest of the world. Over the course of the firm’s existence, it would specialize in managing a number of hedge funds, credit investment options and private equity accounts. Therefore, Highland Capital became one of the leading investment firms for institutional investors.
James is very determined to keep his firm Highland Capital as one of the top firms in the industry. However, he is just as devoted to spending his time with a number of charitable organizations. Dondero cares very much about the Dallas area and looks to find ways to make it better by making a difference. He regularly spends his time on charity projects which have proven to provide a positive impact on the Dallas community. One of his most recent projects has been with the Dallas Zoo. In the past, an elderly hippo passed away and the area had to be reconstructed. James donated $1 million to help restore this area of the zoo which has allowed the hippos to live in a more comfortable dwelling.
Throughout the existence of Highland Capital, the firm has been very active in sponsoring a number of charitable causes. The company has a separate department that devotes a lot of resources to philanthropic causes. James has donated millions of dollars to help make improvements on the Dallas Zoo along with providing donations for the Perot Museum of Natural Science and the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Institute. Along with these organizations, Dondero has also made donations to other organizations such as Snowball Express and Uplift Education.
While James looked to start up a successful financial services firm, he did not want to grow it just to benefit himself. Therefore, he made it a top priority to contribute to his community. In recent years, he has partnered up with Mary Jalonick who is the current president of the Dallas Foundation. With her assistance, Dondero and Highland Capital will continue to make positive contributions to making Dallas a more desirable place to live. Today, the organization’s charity department under the leadership of Mary will now take on projects to further develop the community. It now takes on a number of charitable projects in veteran’s affairs, community development, healthcare and education. All of these projects will be able to improve the lives of Dallas residents in the future.