James Dondero follows a”puzzle solving” philosophy, an approach that has served him well in his more than 30 years of work in the credit and equity market fields. He today serves as the president and CEO of Highland Capital Management (HCM), an alternative investment management firm.

Born 54 years ago in Hoboken, N.J., Dondero originally set his sights on investing in real estate. Majoring in both accounting and finance, he would graduate with the highest honors from the University of Virginia. He began his career in 1984, working as an analyst in the Morgan Guaranty Trust Company training program, and would over the next five years serve as a corporate bond analyst and then a portfolio manager at the financial giant American Express. He would later create GIC, eventually turning the firm into a $2 billion subsidiary of the insurance company Protective Life. Read this article at barrons.com.

Working with business partner Mark Okada, Dondero created HCM in 1993. Moving from Los Angeles to Dallas, HCM would subsequently purchase its parent company. Providing opportunities in such areas as hedge and mutual funds, HCM is considered a pioneer when it comes to developing credit plans for investors throughout the world.

In addition to his leadership role at HCM, Dondero serves as the chairman of NexPoint Residential Trust, NexBank Capital, Cornerstone Healthcare Group Holding and CCS Medical, and is on the boards of both Jernigan Capital and MGM Holdings. James Dondero is qualified as a certified public accountant, a certified management accountant and a chartered financial analyst. Read more about James at Crunchbase.

Outside his financial career, Dondero serves on the executive board of the Cox School of Business at Southern Methodist University, in Dallas, and is known for his philanthropic activities. His dedication to education includes his financial support of Reasoning Minds, an organization that employs the latest technology to develop math programs for children living in remote or impoverished areas. HCM is a big supporter of Family Place, an organization dedicated to reducing violence in the home, and recently provided a $10 million endowment to help initiate an educational program that will be conducted at the Dallas-based Bush Presidential Center.

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