The Enormous Success of Highland Capital

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For the past 30 years, James Dondero has had a sure road to success. After graduating with honors from the University of Virginia’s School of Business, he held positions at Morgan Guaranty Trust and American Express. Both stints were incredibly successful. He enabled both of these companies to earn over one billion dollars. These experiences also gave him the knowledge he needed to found Highland Capital Management. In 1993, Dondero and partner Mark Okada opened its doors for the very first time. Dondero remains its president. Under his leadership the company has attained $20 billion of managed assets.

The company has prospered so greatly because through the years it has diversified its interests into so many different areas. It has its headquarters in Dallas, Texas but maintains offices in New York, Sao Paolo, Singapore, and Seoul. He has so proven himself capable as a leader in this area that Morningstar has awarded him its coveted 5-star Global Allocation award. That is just one of the accolades and awards he has received for his banking and investment work. He has received many others. And he remains zealously passionate about all aspects of the banking and investment world. In addition to serving as the president of Highland, he is also working for several other firms and boards.

In his lofty Highland position, Dondero does way more than simply kick back and let others do the work. He is extremely proactive. In fact, he is one of the firm’s hardest workers. As of this past February, he is one of Highland’s three Senior Portfolio Manager. He and his two fellow Senior Portfolio Manager’s will be in charge of all investment decisions. Dondero is excited about what their team can achieve together. Right now they are heading the company’s Energy MLP Fund which is designed to provide investors with income via investments in Master Limited Partnerships.
Highland has been very generous with his huge financial success. In February of 2014, the company donated $2 million dollars to the SMU Tower Scholars Program. And that was just the beginning. Highland will continue funding the organization which gives financial aid to exceptional undergraduate students.

Highland Capital Management: Meet Private Equity Fund Powerhouse James Dondero

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Established by Mark Okada and James Dondero in 1993, private equity giant Highland Capital Management is a pioneering brand. It acquired controlling assets valued at over $18.7 billion according to last year’s fiscal report. The firm specializes in alternative invest products ranging from structured investments to hedge funds. Headquartered in Dallas, Texas, Highland Capital Management has expanded its network to Singapore, New York, and London. It manages a group of subsidiaries, including HCD (Highland Distressed-Opportunities), HCF (Highland Credit-Strategy Fund) and other investment options. The firm manages a variety of structured investment products, leveraged loans and high-yield bonds in hedging markets. With an interest in international public equity, Highland Capital Management caters to fixed income investing as well.

The firm manages natural resources, distressed credit, private equities, CLOs (Collateralized Loan Obligations) and more. As a trusted asset management advisor, it has the industry’s best professional credit management team. Highland caters to mutual fund stakeholders, pension plans, financial institutions, government sector officials and other high-profile investors. The firm’s current president and controlling partner James Dondero is a celebrated entrepreneur. He’s a UOV (University-of-Virginia) graduate who received the highest honors (Beta-Alpha Psi and Beta-Gamma Sigma). He also attained Finance and Accounting qualifications from the prominent McIntire-School-of-Commerce. In addition, Dondero is a licensed CFA (Chartered-Financial-Analyst) and CMA (Certified-Management-Accountant).

With over 30 years managing equity and credit accounts in different financial markets, Dondero has built an expansive investors’ network. He primarily invests in distressed and high-yield opportunities. Dondero pursued an opportunity to advance his career by becoming an analyst and began training with the Morgan-Guaranty program in 1984. He’s delivered award-winning performance in managing private equities, ETFs, personal investor’s accounts, mural/hedge funds, REITs and more. As a top-ranked adviser with a global presence in different financial markets, including credit-oriented investment solutions and CLOs.

Besides his principal role as CEO and president at Highland, Dondero chairs Cornerstone Healthcare, Nexbank, and CCS Medical. Additionally, he’s an MGM Studios and American Banknote board member. As an accomplished philanthropist, Dondero has funded and sponsored numerous public policy, education initiatives and veteran’s affairs. He’s assumed multiple key positions in organizations and corporations. In 1989 to 1993, he organized the development efforts of GIC, a division of Protective Life. He also served American Express as a Corporate-Bond Analyst before becoming a portfolio manager.

HCM (Highland-Capital-Management) has undergone a series of transformations since its initial inception in 1993. The firm’s credit management team has brilliant minds within its midst. In 1990, business colleagues Dondero and Okada established an arm of PLIC (Protective-Life-Insurance-Corporation). It was a subsidiary specializing in high-priority fixed income investments, including SSBLs (senior secured-secured bank loans) and more. Later, it became PAMCO (Protective-Asset-Management-Company). With this SEC-registered firm, an estimated 40% of the shareholders are founding partners and Protective Life owns the remaining 60%.

Congress Considering Passing Highly Discriminatory Bills, Claiming Religious Freedom as the Reason

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Concerning legislation was introduced in Washington D.C. Which has the LGBT community planning swift action to stop it. The U.S. House of Representatives are on the verge on legally discriminating against the gay and transgender community by attempting to pass measures preventing employees from in-vetro fertilization or having children out of wedlock.

If passed, the bill would effectively and swiftly have profound impacts of the LGBT community, making it a social crime to be gay or transgender and have a family. Understandably, leaders from the gay and transgender community are standing up to fight against these measures from passing. The U.S. House of Representatives tries to explain how the anti-discrimination laws currently on the books in Washington D.C. Are a violation of an employers right to religious freedom, somehow making it legal for a boss to fire someone if their personal religion doesn’t agree with an employees lifestyle, for any reason.

This are truly frightening bills that would strip American citizens of their constitutional rights and freedom, which Boraie Development LLC say would also strip away the ability to work for many people who have families, simply because their boss’s religion doesn’t agree with their choices.

Bobbi Kristina Is Awake

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It has been months since the news of Bobbi Kristina broke that she was found unresponsive in a bath tub. Today, Bobby Brown announced that she is in fact awake and out of her coma. Her 46 year old father has been by her side since the accident. At his most recent concert in Dallas, TX, Brown announced to fans that his daughter is awake nearly three months after the incident.

 

Apparently, fans such as Kevin Seawright went crazy when Brown made the announcement about his daughter, whom has been moved to a rehabilitation facility to recover. There hasn’t been much news about her condition, probably because she hasn’t made much progress since the incident occurred.

 

The 22 year old, Bobbi Kristina was found unresponsive in a bath tub in her Georgia home on January 31, 2015. She was rushed to the hospital immediately and has been fighting for her life ever since. There has been some turmoil between families ever since the incident occurred. Brown’s family has shied away from allowing her fiancé to visit her in the hospital, as they suspected he may have had something to do with her condition.

 

Bobbi Kristina is the daughter of singer Bobby Brown and the late Whitney Houston. Both Brown and Houston have struggled with substance abuse issues in the past. Eerily enough, Houston was found unresponsive in a bath tub back in February 2012. She was later pronounced dead from suspected drug abuse and drowning.

Sam Tabar: New York’s Most Prominent Attorney & Financial Strategist

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For any of you who are thinking about doing some investing this year or who’s New Years resolution is to accomplish some financial or savings goals, check out this article on cnbc.com, Sam Tabar Reveals Investment Tips for the New Year. Sam Tabar has emerged as a one of New York’s most prominent licensed attorneys and financial experts.

Tabar began his quest for success at Oxford University where he graduated with honors. He later completed his higher education at Columbia Law School where he served as the Associate Editor of the Columbia Business Law Review. Tabar graduated from law school in 2001 with dreams of working at one of the top law firms in the world.

 When Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP offered Tabar the position as an Associate in their capital strategy and business development department, he did not hesitate to jump on board. Tabar worked alongside a few of the key players in the legal sector and gained a vast amount of knowledge and expertise. He was able to successfully manage a $2 billion dollar hedge fund portfolio while actively counseling clients on safe commodities. After three years at Skadden, Tabar was looking for a change to further his career.

 Bank of America Merrill Lynch was in need of a Director and Head of Capital Strategy for their Asia-Pacific Region and Tabar was the perfect fit. His fluency in Japanese gave him the ability to effectively communicate with the company’s Asian clients.

 More than a year later, Tabar was granted an opportunity he could not resist. Adanac LLC, BVI offered him a position as the Director of the company. Tabar graciously accepted and immediately began investing in start-up companies such as Thinx.

 Tabar continued to progress in his career at Adanac LLC, BVI, but he could not ignore the urge to return to his legal roots. In 2013, Tabar joined one of the most prestigious law firms in the nation, Schulte, Roth & Zabel LLP. At Schulte, Tabar was able to jump back into the legal sector with ease as a Senior Associate. Tabar spent his time at Schulte managing hedge funds and advising clients on fund formation and structure. In March 2014, Tabar left Schulte, Roth & Zabel LLP.

 On his climb to the top of the legal and financial sectors, Tabar has shaped his prominent career into one full of excessive growth and stellar achievements. His diverse knowledge and work ethic have molded him into one of New York’s most well-rounded attorneys and financial strategists.

Absurd Government Privileges

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Planning a wedding is the cause for sleepless nights, anxiety attacks and endless shopping and venue searching. Skout of course is no stranger to what comes with wedding plans.It is not easy to create a memorable experience to last a lifetime or find the location that best represents both the bride and groom. However, one couples venue was stolen from under their feet and had no choice but to give it up.

According to an article that can be found on http://www.buzzfeed.com/davidmack/kaneohe-kerfuffle#.thMV5D013,a couple was told of the drastic change 24 hours before the wedding. U.S. Captains Natalie Heimel and Edward Mallue Jr. had invited the president to the wedding which he declined and in turn went on to requesting that they hold their event at another location, because he wanted to golf!! The couple quickly changed the venue.

This story may seem so ridiculous as to why we cater to the needs of a president instead of honoring the event already planned. The couple not only have given their time and full preparation of this, but they deserve much more for serving a country and leader that has asked them to without complaint. Does the leader of this country ignore such rights and believe his need to indulge in golfing is above that of a wedding? I know many a bride that would be completely enraged with the childish request! Is this what our soldiers are fighting for, freedom to golf? If so bring them back!

The Toxic Effects of Fracking

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Hydraulic fracturing (fracking) is the process of drilling and injecting fluid into the ground through a pipeline at high pressure in order to fracture the rocks to release natural gas. Approximately, 1-8 million gallons of water are used during the process. Water is mixed with sand and chemicals such as mercury, lead, uranium, ethylene glycol, radium, formaldehyde, hydrochloric acid and methanol. These chemicals can leak or spill into cities or towns located near gas drilling areas causing drinking water contamination and reduced quality of air.

According to a study led by Susan C. Nagel and The University of Missouri colleagues, “UOG operations release large amounts of reproductive, immunological, and neurological toxicants, carcinogens as well as endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) into the environment that may negatively affect human health.” There is an increased risk of miscarriages and stillbirths, puberty changes, and low sperm count and quality.

In an effort to protect water sources and raise awareness about the toxic effects of fracking, The FRAC Act (Fracturing Responsibility and Awareness of Chemicals Act) was created. The bill was proposed to amend The Safe Drinking Water act and repeal exemptions on industry regulations. Companies will have to get a permit before drilling and reveal the chemicals used in fracturing fluid.

Keeping the public and environment safe is a priority. The benefits of natural gas versus toxic effects of fracking will continue to spark heated debates. With the help of local government and organizations, these environmental issues can be regulated and keep the environment clean. I’ll be sure to tell Gianfrancesco Genoso about this news, he’s been keeping up with fracking ever since he first saw it on The Colbert Report.

Split Circuit May Land Gay Marriage Cases In Supreme Court’s Lap

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While earlier the Supreme Court declined to hear most appeals cases related to same-sex marriage, they indicated back then that if circuit courts were to split on their decisions, they might well need to step in and resolve the issue. Since the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeal upheld protection of traditional marriage amendments last week, such a “split circuit situation” has indeed occurred.

Bans on recognizing same-sex marriages performed in other states where they are legal as well as bans on performing them in-state are in question for the states of Ohio, Tennessee, Kentucky, and Michigan. While other federal circuit courts overturned such bans, the Sixth Circuit upheld them, thus creating a chaotic divide that seemingly needs resolution at Supreme Court level.

The cases involving Ohio and Tennessee involve plaintiffs seeking to force those two states to recognize homosexual marriages conducted elsewhere. The cases involving Michigan and Kentucky, however, go so far as to attempt to force those states to allow such marriages to occur within their borders (i.e. to grant them state sanction).

While the federal government was never granted the right to decide how a particular state would define marriage, neither did the founding fathers require recognition of one state’s novel definition of marriage by another state. We can only wait and see what kind of argument will be triumphant at the Supreme Court, but from the looks of it, a decision at that level which will long affect marriage nationwide is soon to come. In my opinion, given the way other countries have granted these rights, it would be in the best interest of the Supreme Court to retain and respect its people by using the argument of higher education customer service and giving the people what they want.

The War On Poverty 50 Years Later

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It has been 50 years since the 1964 War On Poverty. Our generation did not fix things, we made it worse. There is more child poverty in the United States than there ever has been. Of obvious lesser value are the homeless. And why have we allowed this labeling of the lesser value poor? So we let them sleep outside, with no bathrooms, no showers.

Why did we, as a people, stop trying to make the world better? What twisted us so? Homelessness has become so commonplace as to be sickening. It is not OK. The elderly, children, and even families are part of the new homeless. Alexei Beltyukov believes those with health problems, mental issues, and disabilities simply fall between the cracks.

Affordable housing would help with this problem, but there is no longer affordable housing. Much of it was called a blight and it was torn down. But they never replaced the affordable housing, instead they put up housing for a better class of people. Where are the poor people supposed to live then?

Homeless camps are where the people go, oh right, we don’t call them homeless camps. When they get too visible, they get ousted. Not in my back yard is what we all say.

Families are the fastest growing sector of homelessness. At what point did it become acceptable for a wealthy country like the United States to have so many homeless people? That is cold-blooded.

Red Revolution

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A scarlet revolution has overthrown the American executive. Well, at least in theory. Democrats endured a massive defeat in which they gave up their already diminishing reign over the US Congress. Americans had to deal with a government shutdown when the previously Democratic majority Senate and Republican majority House of Representatives were at loggerheads over the nation’s budget. I’ve been discussing it with my political buddy Sam and even he has no idea what is in store for Americans when President Obama’s only support lies in his Cabinet. Both the Senate and the House of Representatives are now under Republican rule.

 

President Obama is arguably the most well-educated and intelligent president America has had. Yet if someone like him seems unable to change things, one must wonder if it his fault or the system which he is a part of. With corporate lobbies basically owning politicians, it doesn’t seem logical to blame them instead of the institutions that control them. Republican or Democrat, a politician does his or her best to make whoever pays them happy. After all, would you bite the hand that feeds?

 

After being left with the ruins of a boisterous man-child carrying out his daddy’s ambitions, President Obama has graciously tackled the messes of a lagging economy and bringing home wrongly deployed and weary soldiers. However, with the shocking yet not so shocking midterm election results, one can’t help but feel a bit blue on the President’s and nation’s behalf.