Highland Capital Management is a Texas-based investment firm that cares about the Dallas community. Jim Dondero and Mark Okada founded Highland Capital in 1993, and the two entrepreneurs have turned the company into one of the top investment firms in the United States. James Dondero has an accounting and marketing background, and Mark Okada is a numbers cruncher, so the partnership had strong roots right from the beginning. Dondero spent a lot of time working in the European and Asian markets, so it wasn’t unusual for Highland Capital to open offices in Singapore, New York, Seoul and Sao Paulo. Dondero wanted to get a reliable information system in place, so his partners could take advantage of assets before other hedge fund investors were aware of them. The system that Dondero put in place worked. Today, Highland Capital Management has more than $16 billion in assets under management.
Over the last 15 years, Highland Capital Management’s hedge fund has produced excellent returns. The returns were so good that Dondero and Okada setup the Dallas Foundation. The Dallas Foundation is the giving arm of Highland Capital. Linda Owen is the president of the foundation. Owen works with Okada and Dondero, and they choose what organizations they want to support in the Dallas area. Some of those organizations are the George W. Bush Library, the Dallas Zoo, the Ross Perot Museum and the Family Place. Dondero recently announced a $1 million grant for the Family Place so the family counseling center could reach its fundraising goal of $16.5 million.
The Dallas Foundation will match donations so the Family Place can provide more space for the more than 2,000 victims of domestic violence every year in the Dallas area. The funds raised will help build the new Central Dallas Counseling Center. The center will have a medical and dental clinic as well as 13 emergency bedrooms, and several private and group counseling rooms for adults and children.