The history of Highland Capital goes back over two decades when in 1990 a joint venture was formed by James Dondero, Mark Okada, and Protective Life Insurance Corporation. The mission of this joint venture was to specialize in traditional income markets and the management of secured bank loans. In 1993 the venture became known as (PAMCO) an investment management company, and registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) as an investment advisor firm, with Protective Life holding a 60% interest in the company and the remaining 40% controlled by the other two founders.
During these early years the company was starting to grow, and in May 1997 James Dondero and Mark Okada decided to buy out Protective Life and became the sole owners of the enterprise, and registered with the SEC as an independent advisor. Almost at the same time, the company name was changed again and Highland Capital Management, L.P. was born.
The next few years were very exciting for Highland Capital, beginning in 2000 James Dondero and Mark Okada launched their first integrated bank loan fund and later that same year started an alternative investment 40 Act platform. 2000 was a particularly busy year for Highland, besides the two product additions already mentioned the company expanded its investment platforms to include distressed assets, and established separate accounts for large pension plans in the United States and Canada. The continued growth of the company warranted further product expansion, so the partners decided in 2004 to expand into the mutual fund business and acquired two rate funds from Columbia Asset Management. Highland Capital continued to expand its global reach by opening offices in Singapore and Seoul Korea in 2008 and 2011.
Today Highland Capital Management continues to be independently-owned, still continues to offer a broad range of services for retail and institutional investors, and remains headquartered in Dallas, Texas. They have grown to over 180 employees with offices around the globe. Highland’s clients include pension plans, corporations, governments, individuals with high-net worth, financial institutions, and many others. They continue to offer value to their customers, provide unique products while protecting investors’ capital and have over $250 million invested alongside their clients.