An Overview of Highland Capital Management and its Founding Partners

Since its inception, Highland Capital Management has established a reputation for itself as one of the leading and largest alternative credit managers globally. As an industry leader, HCM is known for pioneering the development of the CLO market and credit-based solutions for retail and institutional investors around the world. Highland Capital Management boasts a lineup of award-winning product offerings such as REITs, mutual funds, hedge funds, institutional separate accounts, CLOs and ETFs among others.




Highland Capital Management’s history can be traced back in 1990 after both Mark Okada and James Dondero (founding partners) founded Protective Life Insurance Corporation. At the time, the joint venture dealt with fixed income markets such as the management of senior secured bank loans. Later in 1993, the company transformed into Protective Asset Management Company, an SEC-registered investment advisor that was 60% and 40% owned by Protective Life and the founding partners respectively.


After operating successfully for several years, both founding partners bought Protective Life’s shareholding in PAMCO. This led to the formation of Ranger Asset Management, L.P, which later rebranded to Highland Capital Management, L.P. Since then, the company has been on a remarkable journey to become an industry leader.


Currently, Highland Capital Management provides alternative investments, which include long/short equities, natural resources and emerging markets. The company also has a diversified clientele base that consists of foundations, public pension plans, fund of fund, high net-worth individuals, governments, corporations and endowments. In addition, HCM has expanded its operations from its headquarters in Dallas, Texas to other locations including Seoul, New York, Singapore and Sao Paolo.




A significant portion of HCM’s success is owed to its leadership team consisting of the two founding partners, Mark Okada and James Dondero. Mark serves as the company’s co-founder and chief investment officer. As such, he is in charge of Highland’s investment activities. Mark also holds the position of the portfolio manager of Highland Floating Rate Opportunities Fund.


James Dondero serves as the co-founder and president of HCM. Dondero boasts of an impressive academic record including being a CFA, CMA and CPA. He also holds a dual majors degree in finance and accounting from the University of Virginia.