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Category: Philantropist

Category: Philantropist

James Dondero is the co-founder and President of Highland Capital Management, L.P. Highland Capital Management is an alternative investment advisory company that is headquartered in Dallas, Texas. In November 2016 it was announced that he was named to the Executive Board of the Southern Methodist University (SMU) Cox School of Business. His new role at the university reflects Highland Capital Management’s firm commitment to SMU and the students that attend it.The company has also provided an endowment that supports the Highland Capital Management Tower Scholars and also supports the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum.

When accepting his new position, James Dondero stated the business community of Dallas, including his own company, appreciates the contribution that the Cox School at SMU makes to keeping it vibrant. He went on to say that he looked forward to contributing to the university’s educational opportunities.

The Executive Board of SMU has 100 members that have been named to it by the university. The provide advice to the business school about strategy and meet three times each year.

In addition to his role at Highland Capital Management, James Dondero is the Chairman of a number of other companies including Cornerstone Healthcare, NexBank, CCS Medical, and NexPoint Residential Trust. He also serves on two other boards including MGM Studios and Jernigan Capital.

James Dondero is a graduate of the University of Virginia where he earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting and Finance. He co-founded Highland Capital Management in 1993 along with his business partner Mark Okada. Under his leadership, Highland Capital Management now has almost $15 billion in assets under management.

Altogether, Mr. Dondero has over 30 years of experience in the financial industry. From 1989 to 19993 he was the Chief Investment Officer of Protective Life’s GIC subsidiary. He led this subsidiary from just being an idea into one that managed over $2 billion in assets. He is also a graduate of JP Morgan’s financial training program which he completed in the late 1980’s. His vast knowledge of investing includes stocks, bonds, and alternative investing such as hedge funds, real estate, and leveraged bank loans

Chris is known as a fashion mogul. He has founded and co-founded different retail brands. After achieving much success in the industry, he decided to venture into other investment opportunities in real estate and hospitality.

While he has been acquiring different real estate properties, it is the acquisition of the Nihiwatu that has put him in league with other investors. Chris, in partnership with James McBride, acquired a beach hostel in Indonesia in 2012. Their dream was to turn the unrecognized hotel into a five-star resort.

The duo spent approximately $30 million in the renovation of the hostel. After three years of working, the resort was opened in 2015. With all the amazing features of the resort, it didn’t take long for the world to appreciate the elegance. The resort was voted as the best hotel in the world by travel and leisure in 2016.

In response to the question why he chose to rebuild a resort, Chris said he did it for his children, and also to give back to the community. A percentage of the profits generated by the resort are given to the Sumba Foundation.

Nihiwatu, ‘the edge of the wilderness,’ has 27 private including Chris’s private residence that is opened to the guests. Each of the private villas has plunge pools. The guests can enjoy surfing or the excursion to the waterfalls near the resort. It also has two large outdoor entertaining rooms.

Nihiwatu resort has become the largest employer in the region.

Other ventures

Chris has invested in various real estate properties both locally and internationally. He is involved in developing luxurious homes in Palm Beach, Florida, Nantucket, Southampton, and New York. Chris partnered with Alan Faena, an hotelier in Argentina, to renovate a parcel of land into Faena hotel.

In 2014, he partnered with Ellen DeGeneres which saw the launch of ED by Ellen DeGeneres. He also announced the launch of the Cocoon9 which are luxurious homes with contemporary designs and energy saving features.

Chris, through his Company Burch Creative Capital, is supporting the development of other consumer products in home furnishings, organic foods, retail, apparel, and technology.

He serves as the member of the board of Rothman Institute Orthopedic Foundation. He contributed funds towards the philanthropic and research initiatives at Mt. Sinai Hospital in New York, the China Association of Social work, and the Henry Street Settlement among others.