Mr. James Dondero is a Dallas-based president and CEO of Highland capital management firm. James Dondero is also the founder and current CEO of Nexpoint Advisors and its affiliates. Mr. Dondero has over 30 years of experience in the credit and equities business here in Dallas. He is one of the fundamental pillars of the private equity and investment banking industry in Texas. Mr Dondero founded Highlands in 1993 with Mike Okada. Before that, he was the chief investment officer of protective life. He helped grow the firm from a start-up to having more than $ 2 billion in assets in just four years. Before that, he managed $ 1 billion of fixed income assets for American Express. He is a graduate of the University of Virginia with majors in Accounting and Finance. He graduated with the highest honors possible. He is also a CMA, CFA and a CPA. Mr Dondero is a member of various boards and chairs the boards at Nexbank, CSS medical and Cornerstone Healthcare.
The field Mr. James Dondero on nexbank has thrived in is called investment banking. There are many investment banks in Texas. This term is a broad term, and it has many areas. Highland capital is, for example, a private Equity firm. Investment banking is the act of finding funding for various stakeholders in need of it. Investment banks are the banks that facilitate this process. They have earned a lot of notoriety in light of the 2007/2008 meltdown. If say you planned on starting a factory to sell a certain product, or you are a company seeking funding to expand, you could approach an investment bank. The bank will either directly finance you or create a bond and float it on the stock exchange. Interested buyers can then buy the bond. The bond is just like a loan. You will need to repay it.
Investment banks also advice on Mergers and Acquisitions. It is here that private equity firms Exel. Instead of just looking at revenues, private equity firms go much deeper than that. They look at mundane things like the cost of attracting customers, profit per customer and value keeping the customer. In the case of a factory, they also calculate the variations of steel price and the probability of viability of such a business in the future. From these complex calculations, they come up with a complete picture of your business and advise you further. It also these firms that develop derivatives that allow them to trade on future profits. Investment banks also do a lot of proprietary trading. It simply is high octane betting against commodities, stock, currency, etc.
Firms like Highland capital have developed complicated trading models and structured products that they sell to investors. Some of these products like the Collateralized Debt Obligations ( CDO) were pioneer products. It allows such firms to post high returns in uncertain market conditions. They require decisive and experienced managers like Mr. Dondero to navigate. He has led Highlands to one of the most remarkable recoveries after the 2007/2008 crisis. The firm currently manages $ 25 billion in assets.