James Dondero has had a long and illustrious career in the finance and credit markets, rising to the status of one of the most successful hedge fund investors in the country. However, this rise in the hedge fund and alternative investment circles has taken both passion and bold but well-calculated bets in every investment move. These are characteristics he adopted early in life and which have set the Highland Capital co-founder and CEO on a constant trajectory up the success ladder.
How did James end up in the hedge fund business?
Interestingly, James Dondero had planned to pursue the real estate markets after graduating from the University of Virginia where he majored in Accounting and Finance. However, an economic downturn of the early 1990’s shifted his focus to credit management. He quickly mastered the credit advancing and management trade, and within five years after graduation, James was managing over $1 billion fixed-income investments for American Express. His experience with the corporation inspired him to start a credit and alternative investment company after which he partnered with Mark Okada to set up Highlands Capital in 1996. Read this article at barrons.com.
The process of turning a simple credit line into a $15 billion powerhouse hasn’t been easy. Unlike most other alternative investment firm’s managers, he has taken blatantly bold bets that had insignificant burns and a lot of winning. This boldness has defined James Dondero’s tenure at the helm of the ever-rising alternative investment company. James is particularly known to invest in deals that most fund managers consider off-limits.
For instance, in 2014 James pulled Highland capital into investing in Vista energy in Texas that was already riding on a $40 billion debt. The move attracted, even more, attention since Berkshire Hathaway had lost nearly half of their $2 billion investment in the company a year earlier. However, the company has already turned around its fortunes, posted post-bankruptcy earning calls and even had debut shares on the NYSE.
A similar bold bet includes the investments in hard-hit Master Limited Partnerships owning Oil and natural gas refineries in Argentina. These MLPs had reported a historical downdraft in 2015, but Highland capital still invested close to 15% of its fund in more than a dozen of such MLPs. They have since reported profitability of over 18$ with some quadrupling the initial investment. Read more about James at Crunchbase.
Timothy D Armour is the Chairman and CEO of the Capital Group Companies. He also serves as Chairman of both The Capital Research and Management Company, affiliates of Capital Group. Armour is also in a member of Capital Group Companies Management’s committee. He has over three decades of experience in investment banking since he joined the company.
Before he was handed the CEO position of the enterprise, he was the deputy to James Rothenberg, the former head of the firm. Rothenberg passed away in June 2015 at the age of 69. He was responsible for the rise of Capital Group as one of the world’s largest investment management firms. It was after his death that the Board of Directors at Capital Group decided to give Armour chairmanship of the company. Armour started his career at the firm in 1983 as an attaché in the company’s Associate Program before becoming an investment analyst. He graduated from Middlebury College with a bachelor’s degree in Economics.
Capital Group is a private financial services company founded in 1931. It is among the largest investment firms in the world with an employee base of more than 7000 persons and assets worth $1.39 trillion. Its headquarters are in Los Angeles, California. The company provides services in research and investment in America, Canada, Europe, and Asia. Janet Yang, an investment research analyst, gave the company A rating for its consistently high-level performance over the years. She said choosing the business is a no-brainer as the company has continued to advance over the years putting detailed attention into investments and long run end results. She further praised the firm saying it is a model example of a stable investment culture with outstanding portfolio managers such as Armour and Clifford.
The company broadened its operations further after announcing a strategic partnership with Korea-based Samsung Asset Management. The agreement established that Capital Group would assist SAM in instituting the Capital Group management style while providing management expertise in business and client management. The companies are expected to work together in coming up with asset allocation products and solutions for Korean investors. It is in line with SAM’s agenda in becoming one of Asia top management companies. Armour maintained that the long run plan of the partnership is to come up with investment solutions aimed at satisfying retirement and insurance-related needs of investors in the Korean market.
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