Southern Methodist University Cox School of Business has a new Executive Board member by the name of James Dondero. Dondero is the co-founder and president of asset management firm Highland Capital Management, L.P. The relationship between Highland Capital Management and Southern Methodist University has now been strengthened due to Dondero’s new position. There has already been a bond between the two ever since the Highland Capital Management Tower Scholars, a program that rewards pursuits in public policy, as well as the outstanding support of the George W. Bush Presidential Libray and Museum.
“The Cox School at SMU contributes to the vibrant business community here in Dallas of which Highland is among the many beneficiaries,” Dondero said. “I am honored to assist with the numerous growth and excellence initiatives currently underway.”
Roughly 100 appointed members make up the SMU Cox Executive Board. Most of the members are there to advise on the strategy of the business school. The Executive Board holds three meetings per year in the spring, fall, and winter.
James Dondero has specialized in the credit and equity markets for over 30 years. He is the current president and co-founder of Highland Capital Management. Today, Highland Capital Management has over $19 billion in assets.
In 1984, Dondero was accepted into the Morgan Guranty training program where he began his career as an analyst. He graduated from the University of Virginia’s McIntire School of Commerce that same year and earned majors in accounting and finance with highest honors. The next year, Dondero became a corporate bond analyst after joining American Express. He later was assigned to account for approximately $1 billion worth of fixed income funds after being named portfolio manager. In 1989, he left American Express to join Protective Life’s GIV subsidiary as the Chief Investment Officer. Under Dondero’s leader ship the subsidiary grew to $2 billion. From there, James Dondero founded Highland Capital Management and grew the company into the great asset management firm that we know today.