James Dondero started his financial career by studying Accounting and Finances at the University of Virginia’s McIntire School of Commerce; Graduating with a Bachelor of Science Degree in each of his chosen fields of study. James stepped into his first successful finance position in 1984 when he began working at JP Morgan Chase & Company. Through his financial training program, James was able to quickly make his way to his dream job at American Express where he was responsible for the management of one billion dollars worth of fixed income funds. After a few short years of climbing up the corporate ladder with his management savvy, James Dondero decided it was time to create his investment firm; And so, Highland Capital Management was born. Highland Capital Management holds their focus primarily on private equity loans, various credit accounts, credit hedge funds, and also sets three million dollars aside in the budget for philanthropic endeavors. Read this article at barrons.com.
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James always had a passion and devotion to the city of Dallas Texas, and so he formed the Highland Dallas Foundation with Mary Jalonick, the CEO and President of the Dallas Foundation. Mary and James decided to work together with the Highland Dallas Foundation so that they could make decisions on a simplified level. James Dondero also acquired the help of Linda Owens, former CEO of Woodall Rodgers Park Foundation. Linda’s role with Highland Dallas Foundation is to ensure that the right non-profit organizations receive donations and that they honestly have the best intentions for supporting a bright future in Dallas! Read more about James at Crunchbase.
A recent example of the philanthropic nature of James Dondero is the donation of one million dollars that he gifted to the Dallas Zoo so that they could break ground on the reopening of their hippopotamus habitat. Zoo management chose to close the habitat in 2001 after the death of their beloved hippo, Papa. James Dondero and several other local philanthropists are responsible for the Dallas Zoo’s ability to open their brand new two-acre hippopotamus habitat, where they hope that the two new additions to the Zoo, Adhama, and Boipelo, will one day mate and help to grow the population of the endangered hippopotamus.