Fourth Generation

The Business Life For Over 80 Years

James Dondero: Businessman With A Heart Of Gold

James Dondero started off in the world of finance by attending the University of Virginia’s McIntire School of Commerce where he acquired a Bachelor of Science Degree in both Accounting and Finances. James stepped into his position with JP Morgan Chase & Co and made quick work of his financial training program, a course that shot him straight to his dream job at American Express. Visit his website at

With American Express, James was responsible for managing one billion dollars of fixed income funds, which he accomplished with ease for nearly four years before took on the role as Chief Investment Officer at Protective Life’s GIC Subsidiary in 1989. James decided after years of success with other companies that it was time to create his investment firm. Highland Capital Management was born in 1993, and James Dondero quickly became recognized as the leading name in alternative credit managers around the world.


James Dondero, not being satisfied with merely sitting on his fortunes, created an organization with the help of President and CEO of the Dallas Foundation, Mary Jalonick. The two came together to form a business relationship with a mutual devotion to philanthropy, and so the Highland Dallas Foundation came to be. James and Mary keep their focus on non-profit organizations that assist in the betterment of Northern Texas, and the city of Dallas. One example of the generosity that makes James Dondero so invaluable to the town is the recent one million dollar donation he made to the Dallas Zoo to reopen their long-missed hippo habitat. In 2001, Zoo management made the difficult decision to shut down the exhibit when the oldest hippo, Papa, passed away. The outcry from the citizens of Dallas was too much to bare for Dondero and several other local philanthropists, and so they came up with the fourteen million dollars necessary to reopen the beloved habitat. After nearly two decades, the Dallas Zoo is now able to entertain visitors with their two new hippos, Adhama and Boipelo, in their two-acre habitat, known as the Outpost. There is also a Highland Capital Lodge in the area where visitors can rent out the space to hold special events, an opportunity that would not be available if not for the help of James Dondero and other local Philanthropists. Read more about James Dondero on

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This entry was posted on July 18, 2018 by .