James Dondero is the President of Highland Capital Management, L.P., a financial firm he co-founded in 1993 along with business partner Mark Okada. The company, which is an alternative asset investment firm, has been very successful under James Dondero leadership. This success has led the company to support a number of charitable causes, one of which was The Family Place located in Dallas, Texas, the same city that Highland Capital Management is headquartered in.
The Family Place is building a new facility, named after local philanthropist Ann Moody, will feature 40 beds for women and their children who are fleeing domestic violence. The facility will also include an area for pets to be placed as many women don’t want to leave them behind with their abusers. It will also include counseling rooms, job training, and an anti-bullying youth education program that puts on programs at area schools.
The campaign to complete the building needed an additional $2.8 million in funding to see the project through. James Dondero announced his company’s support of a challenge grant to help them attain this goal. The grant will match fifty cents on the dollar of each donation the campaign raises, up to $1 million. This money will go a long way towards helping the project reach completion.
James Dondero started his professional career in the financial industry in 1984 at Morgan Guaranty. He advanced to the role of a Corporate Bond Analyst at American Express in 1985 and in 1989 joined Protective Life Insurance Company where he helped them build a new subsidiary as their Chief Investment Officer. His success led to him, Mark Okada, and Protective Life partnering on a new startup which eventually became known as Highland Capital Management. The company is now wholly owned by Dondero and Okada.
Throughout his professional career, James Dondero has been active philanthropically. He has focused on providing funds to nonprofits that help children, education, veterans, and good public policy. He was a student at the University of Virginia McIntire School of Commerce where, while earning his degrees in Finance and Accounting, he earned the school’s highest honors.