Highland Capital made a promotion from within its ranks just this last month for credit research manager Trey Parker who will now be co-Chief Investment Officer with Mark Okada on the Highland Capital Advisors board of directors. CEO James Dondero and longtime CIO Mark Okada both said that the promotion had been well-earned by Parker who had contributed a lot to the firm in the 10 years he had been there. Both said that he understood clients needs very well and that he could do even more for the firm on the executive committee. This promotion will now make Parker a member of Highland’s Equity and Structured Products Investment Committee.
Highland Capital has become one of the most recognized private equity firms across not only Dallas but the entire US. Their leaders have built the company largely on its collateralized loan obligation platform, which is a kind of bond pooled with both high-risk and low-risk business loans, and Highland’s portfolio managers have managed to turn these investments into quality performers. They also are a lead company in fixed income funds, high-yield credit, healthcare equity and other retirement and pension funds. Highland Capital also owns the Highland Foundation which has been busy supporting Dallas humanitarian and veterans services.
Dondero and Okada founded Highland Capital back in 1993, though they did not officially change its name till they bought it out from its original owners in 1998. Dondero had begun in investment banking back in 1984 as an advisor and analyst for American Express, and Okada had served with Mitsui Manufacturers Bank and Hibernia National Bank prior to teaming up with each other. Highland Capital was originally a small company at Protective Life Asset Management that Dondero and Okada both were tasked with building into a big operation at the company. The subsidiary grew so big that it had eventually passed its parent company in stature. After being renamed Highland Capital, it also became a partner with Acis Capital and NexPoint Advisors, and Dondero and Okada both serve on the board of directors at Nexbank.