James Dondero Doesn’t Hesitate to Set the Bar High

We often strive for excellence in everything we do, whether that is work or play. Jim Dondero, though, seems to have set the bar a little higher than most people. He certainly has a list of achievements to prove he never gave up or lowered his expectations. Today, he is the co-founder and president of Highland Capital Management, and sits on a number of boards. However, that doesn’t say enough about Mr. Dondero, his career or his lifelong history of success.

A firm believer in the importance of education, Jim Dondero of nexbank attended the University of Virginia. Even at that young age, he revealed a determination to excel by aiming to earn dual majors in Finance and Accounting. Not only did Mr. Dondero achieve his goals, he did so with the highest honors, graduating Beta Alpha Psi and Beta Gamma Sigma. He went on to become a Certified Management Accountant (CMA), a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) and a Certified Public Accountant (CPA). That was just a hint of what Mr. Dondero was determined to achieve in his lifelong career.

Mr. Dondero began working as an analyst in Morgan Guaranty’s training program in 1984. From there, he went to work for American Express as a Corporate Bond Analyst, earning a promotion to a Portfolio Manager. Perhaps his greatest achievement, though, was in 1993 when he co-founded Highland Capital Management, the company leading the way in credit oriented solutions and Collateralized Loan Obligation market development. Today, Mr. Dondero, President of Highland Capital Management, L.P., boasts more than 30 years experience in equity and credit markets. In addition, he founded and continues on as the President of NexPoint Advisors, L.P. and serves as the NexBank chairman.

For all of his success, Mr. Dondero has never forgotten the importance of giving back. In fact, he is quite the philanthropist and supports endeavors in veteran’s affairs, public policy and, of course, education. His efforts do not end there, the President of Highland Capital Management serving as Cornerstone Healthcare Group Holding, Inc.’s chairman. He is also the director of Safety-Kleen, Inc. as well as president, member of the Executive Committee and member of the Compensation Committee for NeighborCare, Inc.

Mr. Dondero serves as an example of what we can achieve in a very short time. Granted, he started over 30 years ago, but in that time he has gained experience in leveraged bank loans, derivatives, emerging markets and far more. Mr. Dondero also spent much of his career helping to make Highland Capital Management the successful company it is today. Perhaps more importantly, he is a leader in the community and strives to better the lives of the people around him. It’s easy to see that Mr. Dondero not only set the bar high but he is also determined to succeed at anything he attempts.

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