James Dondero: Turning Puzzles Into Investment Opportunities

James Dondero is an investment leader who believes that solving puzzles is the best way to guarantee success. Possessing more than 30 years of experience in the credit and equity fields, he currently serves as chairman of the board of Highland Acquisition Management (HCM), a hedge fund organization based in Dallas.
A graduate of the McIntire School of Commerce, which is part of the University of Virginia, Dondero began his career in 1984, serving as an analyst in the Morgan Guaranty training program. He would later work at American Express, first serving as a corporate bond analyst and later a portfolio manager. Helping to create the GIC subsidiary of the financial services company Protective Life, he would see his venture turn into a $2 billion enterprise over a period of only four years.
Established in 1993 through the efforts of Dondero, HCM has proven to be a pioneer in both the development of the debt-supported collateralized loan market and in the creation of different credit techniques that have helped investors throughout the world. The company recently announced that it was entering the field of real estate, its first project being the development of a luxury apartment complex that will serve the city of Phoenix.
Dondero uses his “puzzle solving” philosophy to carefully evaluate his plans and the latest trends in the investment industry. His methods make it possible for investors to concentrate their funds in relatively few areas, perhaps only one or a handful of companies, but which offer better results than other types of investments.
Dondero is both a certified public accountant and a certified management accountant. He also serves as the chairman of NexBank Capital, Cornerstone Healthcare Group Healthcare and CCS Medical, and is on the board of directors of American Banknote and MGM Studios. His philanthropic activities range from donations to various educational organizations to his assistance of the children of American military personnel who have lost their lives while serving their country. One of his donations helped establish the Dallas Zoo “Hippo Hut” facility, which can be used for educational purposes and as a backdrop for public events.

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