Jim Dondero, the personable CEO of Dallas-based Highland Capital Management, is known as an expert in emerging market investing and advance market investing. Highland Capital Management has more than $16 billion in assets under management. The diversified Highland Capital portfolio puts the investment firm in the top fifty hedge funds in the industry. Dondero co-founded the investment firm in 1993 with Mark Okada, and the company has grown every year since then. Highland Capital has offices in Sao Paulo, Singapore, Seoul, and New York. But even though Dondero and company get a lot of press in the investment world, many of those stories don’t include the charitable donations that are part of the Highland Capital Management mission statement.
Dondero and the board of Highland Capital decided on a $3 million annual budget to fund various nonprofit organizations in the Dallas community. The Dallas Zoo, the Ross Perot Museum, and the George W. Bush Library, and several other local nonprofits benefit from the donations they receive from the Highland Dallas Foundation. Mary Jalonick, the CEO of the Highland Dallas Foundation, recently announced the appointment of Linda Owen as president of the organization. Linda Owen is well-respected in the nonprofit community. Owen is a former CEO of the Woodall Rodgers Park Foundation. The addition of Linda Owen to the Highland Dallas Foundation staff reaffirms Dondero’s commitment to the Dallas community.
In order to maintain a $3 million charitable budget, Jim Dondero and his executive team must stay one step ahead in the hedge fund market. Dondero’s recent investment in Argentina’s bonds shows the company’s commitment to their emerging market strategy. Brazil is another emerging market that is making a comeback in 2017. Dondero is aware of the opportunities that exist in the Brazilian market. But Dondero also likes to maintain a presence in the healthcare and energy industries, as well as, the retail and wholesale industries. He is also interested in FinTech startups and the gold market. Staying one step ahead takes knowledge, connections, and money. Dondero and Highland Capital have all of those things and more.