Highland Capital Management was founded in 1993 as an alternative investment management company. It is headquartered in Dallas, Texas and, as a global investor, has other offices located in London, Singapore, Sao Paulo, Seoul, and New York City. It is a privately held company and was co-founded by Mark Okada and James Dondero. Both co-founders continue to serve at the company, Dondero as President and Okada as Chief Investment Officer.
Collateralized Loan Obligations (CLO) is the asset class that Highland Capital Management pioneered in when it was founded. Their success in CLOs led to the company investing in other alternative assets such as credit hedge funds, emerging markets, long-only credit funds, and distressed private equity funds. Highland Capital Management has many clients including public pension funds, endowments, corporations, and high-net worth individuals. By providing superior returns, value, and unique financial products Highland Capital Management has become a leader in the alternative investing industry.
Philanthropy has always been at the heart of Highland Capital Management. The company has provided financial assistance to a variety of causes including veterans and their families, people lacking healthcare, educations causes, and community building. In order to better manage the philanthropy that the company provides and make sure it is having maximum impact, in June 2016 they brought in Linda Owen who has extensive experience in the nonprofit world. She has been a longtime Dallas civic leader, including serving as President of The Woodall Rodgers Park Foundation. Highland Capital Management provides more than $3 million a year in charitable donations which she will now direct in the most efficient ways.
Among the specific nonprofits that the company provides funding to is The Center for Brain Health, Uplift Education, the American Heart Association, the George W. Bush Presidential Library, the Dallas Zoo, and many other local and national organizations. The leadership at Highland Capital Management also provides their skills and services to nonprofits by serving on their boards, such as James Dondero serving on the Advisory Board for Southern Methodist University’s Tower Scholars Program. This program is educating the business leaders of tomorrow.