September 15 2015

Success for James Dondero and Highland Capital Management

Hard Work, Perseverance and intelligent risk taking. Those are the attributes that have successfully brought James Dondero and Highland Capital Management a long way from the credit crisis of 2008. Dondero and his partner, Mark Okada gambled that a hedge fund with a specialty of packaging high-yield bank loans into securities in the form of collateralized loan obligations (CLOs), would be successful, a gamble that the credit crisis almost doomed. The low point came in 2008, when Highland suspended investor withdrawals from two ailing hedge funds and saw its total assets drop to $23 billion from the 2007 high of $39 billion.

In the ensuing years Highland, under James Dondero, has restored its reputation, with an eye to a long term strategy of working through its issues without a bailout. Fighting off numerous lawsuits, some of which were personal in nature, paying off debts or taking a stake in borrowers, and venturing into new areas such as Brazil and Argentina, Dondero has worked tirelessly and has been able to keep a steady course regardless of the difficulties. His efforts to save spooked investors from themselves by convincing them to stay the course alone are admirable, and had to have been very difficult.

Work is the operative word here. From dealing with investors who practically had to be saved from themselves to revamping investment strategies to the recent successful lawsuit against Credit Suisse Group AG, (Credit Suisse Group AG was ordered to pay Highland Capital Management LP $287.5 million for losses on a $540 million refinancing of a shaky real estate development.) James Dondero has never taken the easy way in any of the problems facing Highland since the 2008 meltdown that claimed so many other hedge funds.

Highland now has $21.7 billion in assets and an excellent reputation, a long way from the days when Dondero is quoted as saying: “Our name was mud.” No one is saying that now. The Dallas based hedge-fund is among the best in terms of reputation and profitability.

In a deliberate re-branding effort, the firm moved from the northern suburbs to new offices closer to Dallas’s downtown financial district, in part, according to Patrick Boyce, COO, because “It made sense to really have a rebirth of Highland, we want to make sure the world almost sees us as a new firm.”

Almost a new firm, an old fashioned work ethic and refusal to do things the easy way. Intelligent risk taking. It is exhausting to even contemplate the work and commitment it took for Dondero and his partner, Okado, to bring Highland all the way from the losses of 2008 to the success it enjoys today.

Any venture James Dondero undertakes in the future will be a good bet for investors. They at least can be assured it will get the effort, hard work and commitment to investors required to succeed. It will be interesting to see where he goes from here, I doubt very much that this energetic man will be resting on his laurels.

August 31 2015

Facts You Should Know About Adam Sender And His Love For Art

Adam Sender is a hedge-fund manager turned art collector. He has appeared in the spotlight because of an exhibition he mounted from his private collection. The exhibition was held in one of his Miami homes that were dormant in the real-estate market. Because he was not selling the house at the time, he decided to use it for the exhibition since he had a lot of art to showcase. The event christened ‘Home Away’ was curated by his collector Sarah Abiel. She made sure that she chose art that she displayed art by high-profile artists like Cindy Sherman, Chris Olifi and many others.

Sender has a vast art collection, and even the exhibition did not showcase all of it. He was particularly elated at the thought that people will come and see his art collection of many years. The exhibition only used 70 pieces out of the over 1,000 pieces in his collection. His art collection is estimated to total over $100 million in value. He has been acquiring the art since the late 1990’s making use of the same analytical and discerning eye he used to choose equities that are promising. Many of the pieces increase in value as time passes. When he started collecting, Sender used to buy pieces for amounts like $100,000 which is rare to come across these days.

Sender is careful with who he buys his art from. He prefers experienced artists, and he rarely buys from those still in school. His experience in hedge-fund management has no doubt taught him that experience is the best teacher in everything. When artists have no experience, they tend to produce artwork that is not satisfactory or which can not last long enough with good market value. For people like Sender who buy art as a form of investment, amateur artists are a no go zone.

The most interesting thing about Sender is the fact that he is still collecting art. He says that he loves art and does not waste a chance to buy a new item. He is not particular about his exact taste though he admits that he loves pieces done by women as well as those about women. In 2006, he managed to sell forty works that netted him close to over $20 million.

Because he used his profits from the hedge fund business, he is very careful to make a profit out of the collection as well. Sender is a perfect example of an individual who succeeds and uses his creative mind to make a fortune out of an area that many could not see. He had fathomed that the art he loves to collect will one day fetch him millions. Adam Sender is a well known part-time art collector.

December 17 2014

Britney Spears Has Great Abs

Britney Spears is well known for her music, but many, possibly even Igor Cornelsen,  also know her for her troubled personal life, her weight gain, and her several marriages. Recently, Britney has turned her life around, and her love life is flourishing, and she’s also reemerged with a killer body. Britney’s Abs. In the past, Britney Spears has had problems with her weight, gaining, and losing weight, especially after having two kids. Although it’s understandable that a woman gains weight when she has children, many are not as forgiving when it comes to Hollywood stars.

Even though Britney has lost weight in the past, many were looking for her killer abs that she showed off when she held the snake over her head, in the awards show, many years ago. Her past performances showed her having a bloated stomach that was a bit pudgy as well.

On the cover photo, Britney looks flawless, and you can clearly see that she has abs that are very toned. Britney talks about the diet that she eats on a regular basis, and why at her age, she must work harder, in order to keep her great figure that many envy.

December 13 2014

The Best 50 Singles that 2014 had to Offer

A list of the greatest of anything is always subjective. Some people are going to love it. Others are going to hate. There is going to be a great divide for the Rolling Stone list because there are so many tracks that are listed. The list contains a whopping 50 tracks, and yet songs like “Happy” by Pharrell Williams are no where to be found.

Prince has new music that is presented on the list called “This Could Be You.” I can’t wait to hear it and relax while drinking a glass of Stephen Williams’ wine. This is a pleasant surprise because Prince releases new music every year, and most of it plays like music that only sounds good to Prince. 

Drake made the list for – what is now an infamous track – “O to 100.” Earlier this week there was a Grammy nomination that led to a fight with Diddy. Bad Boy mogul Sean Combs has stated that the beat was stolen from him by Drake. This, along with the addition to the Rolling Stone top 50 list, will make even more people flock to this single.

Iggy Azalea made the list, and the whole list would have lost credibility without her. The same thing could have been said if Sam Smith was omitted.

December 5 2014

Lil’ Wayne Boasts About His Self

Lil’ Wayne did a recent interview, where he speaks about the level that he’s at in life. Wayne has proclaimed himself as “the greatest rapper alive,” and makes no qualms about what he’s said. He feels that he’s on a higher level than any other rapper out there, and the only two people that are at his level, are Beyoncé, and Kanye West. Even though the two artists have different genres, his point is; their popularity, as well as their talents, makes them great.

Wayne claims that music is who he is, and all that he does 366 days out of the year. He states that he only is music, and that’s what he lives for. His 11th studio album is set to release in just over a week, after being pushed back several times. Many are anticipating the release of his album, as Wayne has only gotten better over the years, and gained a massive amount of fans. There is no arguing that Wayne is one of the best, but of course it’s left up to the opinion of others.

Brian Torchin repots that Wayne states that when he began making music, it was never to be popular on social media networks like Twitter, but to be the best in music. Wayne has been in the news recently after having thrown an amazing birthday party for his 16-year-old daughter, and giving her both a Ferrari, and a BMW.