Highland has evolved over the course of nearly three decades, expanding across asset classes, investment strategies, and geographies. See how Highland grew from a credit investment firm to the diverse alternative asset manager that it is today.
↔ Scroll through the timeline to see some of the major milestones in Highland’s history.
James Dondero and Mark Okada form a joint venture with Protective Life.
In January 1990, founding partners James Dondero and Mark Okada formed a joint venture with Protective Life Insurance Corporation. Operating out of Los Angeles, California, the joint venture specialized in fixed income markets, including the management of senior secured bank loans.
PAMCO launches as an SEC-registered investment advisor.
The joint venture evolved into Protective Asset Management Company (“PAMCO”), an SEC registered investment advisor, owned 60% by Protective Life and 40% by the founding partners.
The firm moves its headquarters to Dallas.
Within a year of finalizing the PAMCO agreement, Mr. Dondero and Mr. Okada moved the firm to Dallas, Texas. The new headquarters put the firm closer to the finance capital of New York, both in terms of the time zone and travel distance. Texas also offered a more business-friendly environment and lower taxes, as well as a better commute.
The firm issues one of the first non-bank collateralized loan obligations.
Under Mr. Dondero and Mr. Okada’s management, PAMCO issued one of the first non-bank collateralized loan obligations (CLO), pioneering the CLO market. Since then, the firm (which later became Highland) has structured and monitored over $30 billion of CLOs/CDOs and continues to be one of the largest CLO managers in the world.
The founding partners buy Protective Life’s stake in PAMCO.
In May 1997, as the company began to take off, Mr. Dondero and Mr. Okada purchased Protective Life’s stake in PAMCO and established Ranger Asset Management, L.P. as an independent advisor registered with the SEC.
The firm changes its name to Highland Capital Management.
The name Ranger Asset Management was short-lived, and within a year, the founders renamed the firm Highland Capital Management.
Highland launches its first commingled bank loan fund.
Under the leadership of Mr. Dondero and Mark Okada, Highland turned its expertise in the loan market into an institutional investment product, launching its first commingled bank loan fund.
Highland opens a New York office.
After over a decade of frequent travel to New York, Highland officially opened a New York office in 2003.
Highland expands its investment platform with two mutual fund offerings.
Highland entered the mutual fund business with the acquisition of two floating-rate funds from Columbia Asset Management, reaching a new audience of retail investors and expanding access to the loan asset class.
Highland expands into Asia, opening a Singapore office.
Highland expanded its global footprint with the opening of a Singapore office.
Highland grows its mutual fund business, acquiring a suite of funds from GE Asset Management.
Highland expanded its mutual fund offerings through an acquisition of a suite of mutual funds from GE Asset Management. The GE funds complemented Highland’s existing mutual fund portfolio and ultimately equipped Highland with a comprehensive product lineup for retail investors.
Highland continues its global growth, opening of an office in Seoul.
The company increased its presence in Asia, opening an office in Seoul.
Highland establishes a presence in Latin America, opening an office in Sao Paulo.
Highland opened an office in Sao Paulo, which houses Highland affiliate Highland Capital Brasil Gestora de Recursos.
Highland expands its bank loan offerings, launching a loan ETF.
Highland launched the iBoxx Senior Loan ETF (SNLN), one of only two bank loan ETFs on the market at the time.
Highland establishes a publicly traded REIT – a spin-off of one of Highland’s closed-end funds.
Highland launched a publicly traded REIT, NexPoint Residential Trust (NXRT), in 2015 out of the closed-end fund NexPoint Credit Strategies Fund (NHF). The REIT marked the first dedicated vehicle for Highland’s multifamily real estate investment strategy.
Highland opens an office in Buenos Aires.
With Argentina serving as a major investment theme in various Highland funds, the firm opened an office in Buenos Aires and established operations for a local portfolio management team.