Category Archives: Interesting People

Highlands James Dondero the Right Man for Your Investments

Highland Capital Management, the alternative investment management firm, manages and specializes in structured investment, hedge funds and distressed investment funds. Highland invests in hedging markets focusing on structured products, leveraged loans and high-yield bonds in addition to fixed income and public equity investments.

Highland Capital Management also manages the Highland Distressed Opportunities and the Highland Credit Strategy Fund among others.

The Dallas, Texas based firm was established in 1993 and currently operates offices in New York, Singapore and London in addition to Dallas. Highland reported having approximately $18.7 billion under management.

The President of Highland Capital Management is Mr. James Dondero the firm’s Co-Founder. Mr. Dondero graduated from the University of Virginia with highest honors from the McIntire School of Commerce with double majors in finance and accounting.

Mr. Dondero entered the Morgan Guaranty Training Program in 1984 beginning his career as an analyst on linkedin.com. He joined American Express where he served as a corporate bond analyst and then later a portfolio manager. Between the years of 1989 and 1993 Mr. Dondero helped a subsidiary of Protective Life to build $2 billion of assets under management while serving as Chief Investment Officer.

Later in 1993 Mr. Dondero co-founded Highland Capital Management with Mark Okada. With more than 30 years of experience in equity and credit markets where he specialized in distressed and high-yield investments James Dondero has been a driving force behind Highland Capital and the collateralized loan obligation market where Highland launched one of the early non-bank CLOs in 1996.

In addition to his work at Highland, James Dondero also serves in various capacities on the boards of other companies. He is the Chairman of the Board for Cornerstone Health, CCS Medical and Nexbank. Mr. Dondero serves as a member of the board for American Banknote and MGM Studios.

Under the leadership of Mr. Dondero and Mr. Okada, Highland has become one of the largest CLO managers in the world having structured and monitored more than 39 Collateralized Debt Obligations and Collateralized Loan Obligations with approximately $32 billion in asset value under management.

In 2000, Highland launched the company’s first return strategy that focused on distressed assets. Now after more than a decade Highland Capital Management is still helping investors achieve their objectives with new strategies and investment vehicles. Included in these are retail funds, credit hedge funds, distressed for control private equity funds, long-only credit funds, exchange traded funds, oil and gas funds and emerging-market credit funds.

Today, Highland Capital Management has more than 20 years of experience with a wide range of investment platforms for both institutional and retail investors. Highland has a very diverse client base of the governments, high-net worth individuals, corporations, pension plans, endowments, financial institutions and foundations. Highland remains focused on providing value to their investors by offering new products and opportunities while working diligently to protect investors’ capital.

The Inspiring Life of Fersen Lambranho

It has not always been easy to find the motivation that I need on my job, but I have listened to Fersen Lambranho speak and he can motivate anyone. I believe that he has become someone to look up to because he really knows a lot about the business world. Lambranho is a smart man that has managed to create the type of life as an asset manager that most people aspire to get to. He manages billions in funds and the company that he works for, GP Investments, is continuing to grow.

I believe the thing that I like about Fersen Lambranho the most is his ability to stay flexible and adapt to change. He started out in engineering. He would move into finances. This would provide to be two different extremes, but Fersen has been able to navigate this course in investing easily. Lambranho has become one of Brazil’s most successful, and I find this inspiring alone because Lambranho could have found himself on the other side of Brazil’s high poverty line. He refused to be another statistic though. He would find himself in search of a much better life.

Fersen Lambranho

Fersen has been an inspiration to me and my friends because he is one those that saw the value of education in Brazil. I marvel at the way that he continues to help those that need help in the investment world. He has clients that are huge corporations. He knows how to analyze the Brazilian market and help investors see the best returns on investment.
Fersen Lambranho

Fersen is also the person that GP Investments looks to when it comes to investing in new companies. He is the leader of the pack that makes decisions on what GP Investments will put their money into next. This can be a stressful role at times, but it has become a job that he is well equipped to handle. He makes it look easy because he has been doing it for so long. He has been able to secure a career as a financial manager of funds because Lambranho has been able to discover that he is good at it. He has made his mark in Brazil, but Lambranho actually has a global perspective when it comes to finances. Brazil is a country that specializes in the export of raw materials. This gives Lambranho the chance interact with other countries and bare witness to the economic conditions and investment potential that these companies possess.
Fersen Lambranho

The life of Lambranho is spectacular because has defied the odds and become a leader that has showed others the way. He has a financial and technical perspective that makes him an incredible leader.

Matt Landis Wins ACC Defensive Player Of The Year

matt landis lacrosse
Although there was no surprise here, it is still important to celebrate and acknowledge the person who helped their team to an undefeated season. I’m talking about Matt Landis. Landis yet again was named the ACC Defensive Player of the Year for the year 2015. The leagues coaches saw the hard work and dedication he put forth and that’s why they gave him this award. It wasn’t the first time however that his name has been associated along with being one of the best defensive players.

Landis has won the ACC defensive player of the week a few times during the season. That’s why the year award only made sense in the next step of natural progression. His awards do not however stop there. He’s also on the list of nominees for the Tewaaraton Award, and today he finds out if he will be selected as one of the winners. If he wins, you can see Landis at the award ceremony later this month.

So who exactly is Landis? He’s a Notre Dame Lacrosse star. He has been a starter on the team ever since he entered his sophomore year of college. He’s been a leader on the defensive side in all of the contests this season.

Thanks to the hard work and talent of Landis, Notre Dame is the number-one seed in the ACC Championship.

How Safe is Powdered Alcohol?

The Food and Drug Administration has approved a new powdered alcohol product, called Palcohol, but approval does not equal safety. The product won’t be available for purchase until summer, yet some states have already banned it as a safety precaution. Some health experts see this product as unsafe, not because of its content, but because of how and where it will be used.
Palcohol is alcohol which has been freeze dried and made into a powder form. When the powder is mixed with any liquid it returns to its former alcoholic state. The freeze dried powder is sold in packets which will mix with 6 ounces of liquid and create an alcoholic beverage.
Palcohol can be mixed with water, fruit juice, sports drinks or soft drinks anywhere and at anytime. Therein lies the safety concerns the health experts and some state government officials find troubling. The small packets and mix-ability of this powdered alcohol product will allow alcohol consumption to take place in locations where drinking is not allowed.
More public intoxication, more drunk driving, more underage drinking will follow the sale of Palcohol. Sergio Cortes has heard that the powdered alcohol doesn’t even have to be mixed with a liquid, it can be sprinkled on food and provide the same ‘buzz’. The product will be easy to smuggle into schools, fast food restaurants and events that prohibit the use of alcohol, making it even more attractive to the underage crowd.

Police Officer Gives Someone A Ride That Turns Into Much More

A young college student walks roughly four miles each way to his job at the Amen Clinic. In the early hours of the morning and off duty police officer spotted the young man walking along the side of the road. Noting that it was only 19’F he pulled over and struck up a conversation. After learning his lack of a car has forced him to walk everywhere, in all weather conditions, the officer first offered him a ride but was contemplating more.

Officer John Shipman could not let James Taylor continue to struggle so he went home and set up a gofundme.com campaign for him. They have quickly raised enough donations to buy Taylor a car and car insurance. If that was not blessing enough, people also donated warmer clothes for Taylor so when he did have to walk he would be better prepared. This fine representation of law enforcement comes from Jonesboro, Arkansas where apparently the people are caring and generous. A simple act of kindness sprang into so much more, the world could take a lesson from John Shipman.

The Fighting Irish Have a Lucky Charm In Matt Landis

MATT IS ONE OF THE FIGHTING IRISH, ALWAYS HAS BEEN

matt landis sports headshot

It was a tough choice for Matt Landis, but he’s finally made his decision. His two main choices were between Notre Dame and John Hopkins. Well my friends, he has chosen to go with Notre Dame. Not a bad choice for a player like Matt.

Matt was kind enough to sit down and entertain a very informal Q&A Session recently. For those of you who missed it, here is a small excerpt.

matt landis fighting irish lacrosse

 

WHY DID YOU DECIDE ON NOTRE DAME?

“It was the community aspect of it. It’s also about education. Notre Dame offers a good balance of both.” There is a togetherness here. Something that you really don’t find in most schools these days.”

WHERE ELSE DID YOU VISIT

“I considered every school from Brown to Navy. What made it so difficult was John Hopkins. Hopkins was the only other school I officially visited. Hopkins has a lot to offer. There is also an aspect of family there. Believe me, the choice was tough. At the end of the day I went with Notre Dame though.”

matt landis notre dame athletics

WHAT CHALLENGES DO YOU SEE LYING AHEAD

“The biggest challenge is stepping up my game. I have to, in order to play lacrosse at a college level. I’ve been do great so far, but it’s not enough. Notre Dame is going to push me to the next level, especially with my hands. I need to play ball with both of them. I need that balance. It’s going to be a challenge, but one I welcome.”

ARE THERE ANY PROBLEMS YOU EXPERIENCE FROM A TEAM PERSPECTIVE

“Sure. I would love to play someone one-on-one. Sometimes this is not the ideal, though. Sometimes you have to make sacrifices for the rest of the team. We are all part of a team, that is what counts. We have to all have the same end-goals. Something has to get sacrificed.”

HOW DID YOU KNOW YOU HAD WHAT IT TAKES TO PLAY COLLEGE LEVEL AND BEYOND

“I guess it was during the summer games. I was playing the Empire Games, as well as other summer games. Dave McNally and Tim Schurr told me I had what it takes. They said it would be hard work, but worth it. They informed me I had what it took to go all the way. I was already thinking about it, but they helped me secure my plans. The rest is history.”

matt landis leans

Have You Hear Of Psychiatrist and Author Dr. Daniel Amen?

Dr. Daniel Amen is a widely respected American psychiatrist specializing in treating brain disorders. He is the director of the world famous Amen Clinics, as well as a New York Times bestselling author who has sold thousands of copies of his books.

His clinics offer specialized medical services to those who have problems with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder as well as other types of psychiatric disorders. Clinic officials use a technique that is known as single photon emission computed tomography (also known as SPECT scans) that can be helpful as a diagnostic tool to find out what Dr. Amen believes are sub-categories of such disorders, as worked out by Dr. Amen himself after many years of research and investigation into the subject. Dr. Amen has done many kinds of studies on such brain injuries including those that are affecting professional athletes and may pose long-term problems for them after they leave the profession. The doctor serves in an official capacity as a post-concussion consultant for members of the National Football League.

The doctor is a native of California and was born in Encino, California to parents who immigrated to the country from their native Lebanon. Dr. Amen received his undergraduate degree in the field of biology from Southern California College in 1978. He then received his doctorate in 1982 in medicine from Oral Roberts University School of Medicine. After the completion of his studies, he did his basic general psychiatric training at the world famous Walter Reed Army Medical Center that is located in Washington, D.C. He later received further specialized training as he completed his child and adolescent psychiatry classes at Tripler Army Medical Center in the Hawaiian city of Honolulu. Dr. Amen was able to complete the necessary two hundred hours of additional training in order to obtain a specialized radioactive materials license that is given from the Institute of Nuclear Medicine Education. After this time, he carried out the entire required thousand hours of highly specialized clinical supervision in reading scans that would provide him with the basis of his training and insights. At present, Dr. Amen holds a double board certification from the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology n the area of General Psychiatry as well as one in the field of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. This training has helped him work with patients and meet their needs for the right kind of psychiatric care.

 

You can follow Dr. Daniel Amen on Twitter.

The Best Things About QNet CEO Vijay Eswaran

Vijay Eswaran is the CEO, QNET and has featured in many news articles for his outstanding performance in the world of business and life as a whole. He is among the best mentors for modern entrepreneurial practices and advancement in the world of business. Vijay Eswaran was born on the 7th of October the year 1960. He has attained many qualifications from great institutions. He obtained a socio-economic degree from the London Economics School back in the year 1984 and proceeded to getting some work that would help him earn a living. He once worked as a cab driver as well as picking grapes in France, something that emphasizes the fact that he is a very hard working person. It is later that he went on and pursued an MBA from the Southern Illinois University. There is more to read about Vijay as you will get to see. Read on.

Vijay is known as a very eloquent speaker as well as an author that has released very insightful copies about life and the business world. He published his first book in the year 2005 which was titled In the Sphere of Silence. In this book he covers all his life management philosophy and how to start off on every day. In later publications, he released books highlighting the way young entrepreneurs are faced with challenges and possible solutions that could keep them on track. In 2011, he released another publication titled On the Wings of Thought, which covered his photography collection.

He is also a successful family man and a socially responsible individual. He is married to Umayal Eswaran, who is a manager of the Vijayaratnam Foundation (Following his philanthropic nature, Vijay established this foundation to help through community programs, donations and charities that have touched the lives of many people). He, as the head of the QI group, established the RYTHM Foundation, a corporate social responsibility arm of this company. News can be found on Twitter to keep up to date.

In 2013, Vijay was crowned the Malaysian Business Awards CEO of the Year. This reinforced his unique trait that seeks to highlight his innovative and hard working nature. This award was issued considering innovation and best business practices. For Vijay Eswaran, this forms part of his life because he is always on the forefront to ensure all his ventures survive despite challenges that exist in the market. The QI group led by Vijay has promised to rise in billions over the next one year and this is believed to be possible.

Mixing Business With School

President Obama recently announced that he wants high school graduates to be able to get a two-year degree for free. This is one of the best ideas he has had, and while some are thinking that there are scholarships and financial aid for college, not everyone is approved for the funds.  Schools that let these companies advertise could possibly see millions of dollars. However, when a student sees that there is the possibility of a debit or credit card, that student might end up in debt instead of paying for things that are needed for school or to live on, such as food and clothing. Since there have been several states that have stopped funding colleges, especially the smaller ones, this could be something to help with the necessities, but it shouldn’t be at the expense of the finances of the students. Dr. Jennifer Walden had many years of schooling, she would have been grateful if this was happening in her time of learning.

Advice for female students going into the workforce from Susan McGalla

Susan McGalla Advice on PR Newswire

Susan McGalla is a woman on a mission. Her mission is to inspire, motivate, and guide women to succeed in business careers. As founder of P3 Executive Consulting, LLC, McGalla has taken up the mantel of the women who have fought for the right to have a seat at the management table and better overall working conditions for women everywhere. She also assists clients with operational efficiencies, talent management, marketing, branding, and much more. Recently she shared three tactics women can use to overcome the difficulties they face in the workplace and become successful.

1. Higher Education Opens Up Greater Opportunities

The economy needs skilled workers. For women to be successful in workplaces dominated by men, more women must earn college degrees, McGalla says. Young women shouldn’t let the growing cost of a college education stop them. She advises them to rely on scholarships, financial aid, and smart planning. McGalla pointed out that women already make up nearly half of America’s professional workers and more than half of college students. She said it is important these trends continue so women can win the ‘war for talent’ in the coming year.

2. Continued Confidence 

McGalla explained that it’s essential for women to build a support network of influencers who will motivate them to do the highest quality work possible. This will give them the opportunity to attain higher management positions. This can help women who have higher education and have taken advantage of the opportunities presented to them feel more confident once they have entered a work environment remain confident enough to succeed. This is important, McGalla explained because a study done by Bain & Company shows that the influence of management can cause women’s level of aspiration to drop by up to 60%.

3. Ignore the Glass Ceiling 

One of the strategies McGalla says led to her success is paying attention to her work ethic and ignoring the “glass ceiling”. She said she didn’t carry a chip on her shoulder or worried about prejudices that existed in the workplace or what she was entitled to because she is a woman. Nor did she worry about breaking through the glass ceiling. She advises women to not allow themselves to be subject to discrimination or prejudice, or reinforce stereotypes. Instead, she says they should persevere and let their work speak for itself in the face of workplaces where gender-designated role dominate.