James Dondero: A Big-hearted Veteran Hedge Fund Manager

In partnership with several philanthropic organizations, James Dondero and his company, Highland Capital Management ended a fifteen-year wait for the opening of a hippo exhibit at the Dallas Zoo. The remarkable feat was achieved after Mr. Dondero and the company he cofounded donated $1 million to finance the reconstruction of the new Simmons Hippo Outpost. The new post has revived the interest in visiting the Dallas Zoo as it allowed the zoo management to bring in two new hippos at the zoo after a 15-year wait. The hippo exhibit became dormant following the 2001 death of the only hippo inhabiting the sanctuary.

 

The $14 million revival was funded by other charities including Harold Simmons Foundation and the Eugene McDermott Foundation among others. It has already led to a spike in the number of zoo visitors from within and beyond Dallas. It has excellent viewing area and a state-of-art facility that can be rented out with all proceeds ploughed back into managing the area. The huge sum donated by James Dondero is testimony to active participation in various charitable activities and initiatives within Dallas having previously supported Snowball Express, Uplift Education and Education is Freedom Charity among others.

 

Career and Education Background

 

Currently serving as the president of Highland Capital Management, James Dondero has over three decades of experience working as a hedge fund manager. His successful involvement in the and financial investment industry is founded on a solid academic background having graduated at the University of Virginia – McIntyre School of Commerce with a degree in accounting and finance. After graduating top of his class, he embarked on a successful as a hedge fund manager. In addition to his academic certification, James Dondero also holds a financial analyst designation and a management accountant certification.

 

 James Dondero began his stellar career of salvaging poorly performing portfolios and companies and turning them into financial success at the Morgan Guaranty. He worked at the initiative for a year before becoming a corporate bond analyst at American Express in 1985. By the time he was leaving the company in 1989, he had risen to the position of portfolio manager. In 1989, he joined Protective Life as the chief investment officer and guided it to financial success before leaving in 1993 to cofound Highland Capital Management.

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