One of the largest global investment management firms, Highland Capital Management is also recognized for its philanthropic endeavors.


Headquartered in Dallas, Texas the company, which has about $18 billion of assets under management, specializes in credit strategies, distressed and special private equity situations. Among its alternative investments are emerging markets and long and short equities.


James Dondero and Mark Okada co-founded the firm in 1993. Highland Capital is known for investing in more than financial markets as it also invests in local community organizations and through volunteerism and financial contributions to non-profit organizations. The firm focuses on areas that include education, veterans programs and health care.


For example, Highland Capital awarded a $1 million challenge grant to help The Family Place, which works to do away with family violence through advocacy and support for victims and their families. The grant will match 50 percent of any funds raised for the campaign up to $1 million.


Through partnering and donations the firm’s contributions take in a Scholar’s Program to Southern Methodist University; Education is Freedom, which provides financial assistance for endangered youth who are planning to attend college and the Perot Museum of Natural Science which helps children grasp science, math and technology better.


Highland Capital Management also supports the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum and the American Heart Association.


According to Dondero, as the company continued to expand its philanthropic activities there was a need for someone to provide a strategic path for its program.


In response Dallas civic leader Linda Owen teamed up with Highland Capital to help guide its philanthropic efforts.


As the company’s charitable giving manager, Owen will work in collaboration with The Dallas Foundation, which manages Highland’s charitable giving fund.


Owen’s past involvement in philanthropy included work with the Crystal Charity Ball and The Family Place.


Aside from its humanitarian work, Highland Capital was named as One of the Best Places to Work by the Dallas Business Journal.


And Okada, co-founder and chief investment officer at Highland Capital recently rang the closing bell at the Nasdaq Market site to commemorate the listing of The Highland iBoxx Senior Loan ETF.