A New Direction For Highland Capital Management

James Dondero is the President and Co-Founder of Highland Capital Management. He founded the company in 1993, after he had had 20 years of experience. Jim has helped Highland Capital to grow, expand but mostly importantly find its niche, which is two fold. The first aspect of the niche that the fund has created is a developed market for Collateralized Loan Obligation. The second aspect is that the fund is able to develop excellent credit based solutions for their clients around the world, who are both institutional and retail investors.

Jim Dondero started out in the finance world by studying at the University of Virginia. He graduated with honors and a degree in accounting and finance. Since graduation, Dondero has managed to get qualified as a Chartered Financial Analyst, a Certified Management Accountant and a Certified Public Accountant.

Before he founded Highland Capital Management, Dondero first worked as an analyst for the Morgan Guaranty training program for a year. After that, Dondero was a Corporate Bond Analyst and then a Portfolio Manager for American Express. After 4 years at American Express, Dondero moved to a Protective Life GIC subsidiary and served as the Chief Investment Officer. Besides serving as President of Highland Capital Management, Dondero is also a board member and Chairman of several associations and organizations.

In a recent article by Octo Finance, the third quarter 13F of Highland Capital Management was analyzed. The article showed the the hedge fund’s portfolio value had decreased from 4.91 billion dollars, in the second quarter, to 3.42 billion dollars. The current value of the portfolio only represents 22.73 percent of the fund’s assets.

The hedge fund purchased 69 news stocks during the third quarter, including Spdr S&P 500 Etf Tr, Danaher Corp Del and Amazon Com Inc. The fund also increased its position in several stocks, including Burlington Stores Inc, Corning Inc and Kinder Morgan Inc Del. They also sold stocks in Nexpoint Cr Strategies Fd, Envision Healthcare and Laboratory Corp Amer Hldgs.

There are some patterns to the decreased and increased positioning that the fund has taken. They have transitioned into different sectors. The firm was heavily invested in finance and health care but as slowly moved out of both in favor of a more spread out approach.

For those who would like to read more, please find the complete article here: http://www.octafinance.com/highland-capital-management-top-10-holdings-in-q3-2015/352793/

Marcio Alaor Discusses Development of Brazilian Blue Airlines

Executive Marcio Alaor recently discussed the formation and maintenance of the successful Brazilian airline, Blue, which is owned by aviation expert, David Neelman.
In 2008, David Neeleman’s group announced its intention to enter the Brazilian airline market and create its fourth company in the airline industry. Neelman then famously and creatively began his marketing campaign in which he gave the citizens the option to submit name ideas for the new air carrier. Among the nearly 110,000 name suggestions were Hug, Joy, Blue, and Samba (the most popular name, largely due to the Brazilian musical culture). Neelman, however, chose the slightly less popular name, Blue.
The CEO of the BMG bank, Marcio Alaor states that David Neeleman carefully and deliberately designated the word “blue” for the title of his company in order to cause customers to feel peaceful emotions when they thought about his company and to mildly bring about feelings of heaven. For winning the marketing competition, the citizens involved were given a credit that ensures their ability to fly with the Blue airline for no fee with no time constraints.

Marcio Alaor states that the well-being of consumers and customer satisfaction have always been priorities to David Neeleman, the current CEO and founder of Blue. One of the most peculiar and, perhaps, beneficial aspects of the Brazilian airline is that the call center that provides a liaison between the passengers on a flight and the owners of the company are not outsourced as they usually are within other companies. Rather, they lie within the walls of the company and are staffed by the company itself. According to Marcio Alaor, several business reports are established and in circulation each day of the week. The Blue also created a financial credit for passengers of late flights to use toward any future airline travel purchase.

Alaor further declared the success of the aviation company by announcing that the Blue is among the largest airlines in Brazil. With its large number of destinations available and its high amount of daily flights, Blue is considered one of the top airline companies both in Brazil and abroad.

Alaor not only praised the success of the business, but also relayed concerns about the problems and stumbling blocks that the company has had to endure because of the current financial climate in Brazil. Because of the status of the monetary system in Brazil, several airline industries, including the Blue, have experienced a rise in production costs which is always problematic in any consumer business. The aviation company has suffered and endured significant losses due to the economic setbacks the country is experiencing.

Marcio Alaor explains the rise of the Brazilian airline company and its current difficulties in an effort to relay to citizens the difficulties and rewards of owning a successful company. As the executive and CEO of one of the most successful banking and financial group, Banco BMG, Alaor gives an account of successful operating businesses from a business insider’s prospective. As a successful leader of a financial group, Alaor understands that difficulties associated with starting and maintaining a business and discusses the business ventures of David Neelman along with his expert business analysis in order to thoroughly inform both citizens and future business leaders alike.

Dick DeVos and Family take a Departure from their Normal Business to Pursue the Liquor Industry

The DeVos family can, and has. This was the first time that the DeVos family released how much they have donated. They have gone so far as to ask those they donate to to not disclose amounts, until now. In 2014, the family gave $94 million, which put them at the 20th spot of Forbes’ Top 50 givers list. Forbes was the one that finally got the family to open up and tell how much they actually donate. This article, found on MLive’s website, a website dedicated to Michigan news and happenings, was very interesting. The DeVos family are not your usual philanthropists.


So where did all this money come from? Family patriarch Rich DeVos is the co-founder of the direct sales giant Amway. Dick DeVos, one Rich’s sons, says he remembers the product was in the basement of their home. There were offices in the basement as well. You could say Dick DeVos was born into Amway. He and his brothers would hang around in the basement. Since they were there, they got put to work. First as guinea pigs, then as mini-hosts during the Amway annual conventions, which led to speaking before groups and giving product demonstrations. http://www.mlive.com/news/grand-rapids/index.ssf/2010/09/amway_heir_dick_and_betsy_devo.html


Dick served as Amway’s president for a period of time, as well as serving as president of the NBA’s Orlando Magic, purchased by the family in 1991. He is currently the president of The Windquest Group which is going to be moving into the liquor business.  The Windquest Group will be taking over the Coopercraft Distillery which specializes in fine wines, liquors and craft beers.


To learn more about Dick Devos the man, you can go to his website. But to really learn about Dick and Betsy, his wife of 35 years, you need to explore their charities and the ideas they believe in. On their foundation’s website, they say their giving is meant to help 5 areas: Education, community, the arts, justice, and leadership.


What I find amazing about the DeVos family is that they are not your ordinary philanthropists. They do not stop at giving donations, but they use their immense social clout to get others to donate as well. One recipient called it the multiplier effect. For example, the Grand Valley State University had a plan to raise $50 million for the school’s 50th anniversary. With the DeVos taking the lead, the amount raised was almost double.


Affluent people are often stereotyped, just like every group of people are. After reading this article in MLive, I have come to respect the DeVos family. They not only donate tens of millions of dollars a year, but they are actively involved with their recipients. And they use their social standing to get others to donate as well. Most of their donations remain in the West Michigan area, but charity begins at home.

Congratulations to all the local residents and businesses who work hard to make West Michigan an incredible place to live, work, and visit!

Posted by Dick DeVos on Tuesday, January 26, 2016


The Financial Career of Marcio Alaor

One of the largest Brazilian banks is called BMG. They have an enormous amount of clout in the financial world. This is especially true in South America. For nearly nine decades, BMG has been a pillar of the Brazilian economy. This venerable financial institution has been able to weather the storm unlike many of their competitors. Much has been written about why BMG has been able to thrive when so many other banks have collapsed under the same economic conditions. It is generally agreed that the secret to their success lies within their ability to consistently hire the most talented financial minds in South America and promote them to powerful positions within the organization.

BMG made a name for itself by specializing in consumer and wholesale financing. They were able to do this by consistently charging interest rates that were well below their competitors. They also make customer service a top priority. The bank would routinely give their customers financial advice free of charge as a way of keeping these people happy so they would continue to come back again. Banking with BMG became a family tradition for many people. This level of customer loyalty had never been seen before in South American banks. It is one of the main reasons the bank has been around since 1930 and it is now larger and wealthier than ever before.

A shrewd decision was made around 20 years ago regarding the services that BMG would offer. For many decades, BMG remained virtually unchanged. However, new leadership saw the opportunity to raise profits considerably by tapping into markets that they were not taking advantage of. For example, they had never offered auto loans during the entire history of the bank. Needless to say, there are many people in Brazil who need their own vehicle. Therefore, the decision was made to offer auto loans for the first time. The response from the public was overwhelming. It not take BMG long at all to realize they made the right decision. Many BMG executives commented that they wish they had offered auto loans much sooner.

Marcio Alaor is one of the main people who guided BMG to the massive success it is now experiencing. He holds the positions of Director and Vice President of the bank. He was one of the people who proposed the idea of offering auto loans. Basically, Marcio Alaor knew that the bank had to change with the times in order to reach its true potential. He orchestrated many changes in the way the bank was run. He polled customers to find out what their biggest needs were. He then implemented changes to satisfy these needs and help the bank to grow in the process.

The Future of Gold in US Money Reserve Podacast

Source: CBS 19 News in Texas


Philip Diehl has been in the precious metals industry for quite some time. Prior to his current role as president of US Money Reserve he was the director of the US Mint. While there he successfully expanded distribution to all seven continents, while at the same time significantly improving customer service. It was here that he was also introduced to bullion coins, of which the United States in the world’s largest producer.


After this role he left to head US Money Reserve, the largest distributor of United States government issued gold, silver, and platinum coins. The coins distributed by the company are guaranteed in weight and purity by the United States government which helps customers rest easy when purchasing their investments. Some foreign distributors have recently been caught passing off counterfeit gold rounds as the real deal.


These positions have led to a wealth of experiences and insider knowledge on the precious metals industry, gold in particular. Over the past several years there have been several major events that have affected the gold market in a major way, which he explained on Enterprise Radio.


Two of the events that caused the biggest demand for gold were the 2008 financial collapse followed by the creation of gold ETFs. The collapse saw investors running from stocks that kept plummeting to find a safer way to preserve their wealth. Gold was the answer. The ETFs were created to provide more liquidity for investors and demand soon skyrocketed.


Other recent events that have contributed to the rising demand for gold have been the increasing value of the dollar and also continued speculation by investors on United States monetary policy. As the dollar increases it creates higher demand for gold in other countries, particularly China and India. These two countries have accounted for almost two-thirds of recent gold purchases.


Looking forward Diehl sees several factors that could help further drive demand for gold. One of the biggest being the eventual decline of the dollar. It does not seem possible that the dollar will continue to rise indefinitely, Diehl thinks it has already peaked, and when it drops gold will become much cheaper in other countries. This drop in price will help to fuel demand.


Another major factor that will lead to increased demand in the precious metal is the worldwide growth of the middle class, especially in BRIC countries. Coupling this growth with geopolitical instability will lead to buyers seeking out gold as a safe haven for their wealth.

Ricardo Guimaraes’ New Role at Banco BMG

News of BMG’s imminent corporate remodeling has been received with mixed feelings. The bank remains close to its stakeholders and clients, a relationship that stretches back eight decades. BMG’s change comes in response to the desire to grow and diversify as expressed by its president Ricardo Guimaraes.
The firm announced the formation of a joint venture with fellow banking giant Itau Unibanco. It’s understood the new business comes from a supplier and distributor of payroll and personal loans. BMG feels the need to expand its dominant space in the credit markets. The Itau BMG Payroll bank will play a crucial role in bringing more business to BMG. Remember, Banco BMG recently acquired Banco Schahin and GE Money promotions. These two firms expand BMG’s infrastructural capacity.
Initially, the deal had raised concerns over the long-term performance of Banco BMG as the new firm would pose significant competition. However, the hierarchy made it clear that BMG would split running costs with Itau Unibanco. Furthermore, Itau BMG Payroll will specialize in the supply and distribution, an area BMG hasn’t been able to exhaust. The move also allows BMG to cut back on services that are no longer attracting real returns.
The good news aside, dull faces were cast upon news of the replacement of top officials at BMG. For instance, Ricardo Guimaraes and the other members of his family take up positions on the Board. It’s almost unimaginable that Banco BMG runs without its most trusted captain Ricardo Guimaraes at the helm of affairs. His role is taken up by an equally qualified professional in Antonio Hermann. The Chair of the Board Flavio Guimaraes also secedes his role to Alcides Lopes Tapias, a reputable and experienced economist, and manager.
According to mzweb, as much as five key members of the Guimaraes family will be directly affected by the shake-up though they retain majority shareholdings. Known to many, Banco BMG is a family owned business dating back to 1930. The management of the family fortune has passed down to generations and now rests in the hands of Ricardo Guimaraes.
Ricardo Guimaraes has done extremely well to further the success of his family empire. Since taking over in 1998, Ricardo made radical changes to the administrative structure of BMG. First, he cut down on the structure of the organization for a smaller profile. He opted to work with banking agents to take services to the clients. Since then, BMG has climbed higher each year until it became the leading payroll and personal lender in Brazil. The bank has also avoided bad debts associated with lending to clients with high default rates. More information available at noticias.r7.

Follow him on Facebook.

Steve Murray’s Role in CCMP Capital’s Success

In the world of finance, private equity refers to a class of assets that consists of debt in companies that are not publicly traded on a stock exchange as well as equity securities. The most common investment strategies for firms that deal in private equity include venture capital, distressed investments and leveraged buyouts among others. One such company that specializes in private equity is CCMP Capital, which limited partnership founded in 1984. The headquarters of CCMP are in New York City. It operates on a global scale and has invested over sixteen billion dollars in growth equity transactions and buyouts since its commencement.

Originally, CCMP Capital was known as Chemical Venture Partners and served as an arm of the Chemical Bank. Chemical Bank then acquired the Chase Manhattan Bank and what was known as Chemical Venture Partners changed to Chase Capital Partners. A few years later, the bank bought J.P Morgan and Co., and the name Chase Capital Partners changed to JP Morgan Partners. In 2006, the firm embraced the acronym CCMP about the company’s heritage entities; Chemical, Chase, and JP Morgan. Despite the many changes in the group’s name, their core business always remained the same.

Apart from its headquarters, CCMP Capital has offices in London, Hong Kong, and Tokyo and has over fifty employees. The firm uses its combined efforts of industry prowess and proprietary operating resources to invest in four primary sectors. These sectors are Chemicals and Energy, Industrial, Retail, and Healthcare. The CCMP Capital’s team has earned a reputation as a world-class investment partner, and this can be accredited to the firm’s exceptional leadership. The chairperson of CCMP is Greg Brenneman, who worked alongside Steve Murray, who served as the firm’s President and Chief Executive Officer.

Steve Murray was a private equity investor and also a philanthropist who sadly passed away on March 12th, 2015 at the age of fifty-three. He had a bachelor’s degree in Economics and a master’s degree in business administration. After completing his studies, Stephen joined the Credit Analyst Training Program at Manufacturers Hanover Corporation. Later he joined the MH Equity Corporation, which was combined with Manufacturers Hanover. Chemical Bank bought Manufacturers Hanover, and MH Equity merged with Chemical Venture Partners.

Stephen co-founded CCMP Capital and in 2007, he was made the chief executive officer of the group. Additionally, Stephen served on the board of numerous major companies including Infogroup Inc., Octagon Credit Investors and Strongwood Insurance Holdings among others. Steve Murray also supported philanthropic organizations such as Make-A-Wish Foundation and contributed to the Stamford Museum and the Columbia Business School. Stephen truly made a positive contribution to the success of CCMP Capital and other organizations.

Who Is The Real Kyle Bass?

Kyle Bass made headlines after correctly predicting the subprime mortgage crisis that took place in 2008. So its only fitting people listen to him when he talks about the fate of emerging markets.

Bass recently did an interview with Wall Street Week where he boldly predicted the emerging markets will experience a lot more pain in the coming weeks and months. He believes the emerging markets are in the middle of the fifth inning right now and still have a few more tough innings to get through.

As far as Brazil goes, Bass doesn’t see any recovery in the near future. According to him, Brazil won’t recover until all of its corruption has been rooted out. He mentioned the ‘Operation Car Wash’ scandal which he says “goes all the way to the president.”

Russia he says is still dealing with the global chess moves made by Putin. And when it comes to China, they are currently going through a banking-loss cycle in which they have had to dramatically devalue their currency.

Even amidst the doom and gloom, there seems to be one bright spot and that’s India. They seem to be moving in the right direction.

Based on his past predictions, many have pegged Bass as nothing short of a genius. The problem is, as time has went on, that magic touch Bass once had has seemingly disappeared.

In recent years Bass has continued to make one bad call after another. And the worst part is he does it in full view of the public. He is the type of guy who will never turn down the opportunity to go on TV and share is so called analysis.

More often than not, the information he shares only serves one purpose, and that is to increase his own bottom line.

On top of continually making bad calls, Kyle Bass also has a history of keeping company with some pretty unsavory people.

Take for instance his alliance with Argentinian despot Cristina Fernández de Kirchner. While most everyone in the business thinks Fernández de Kirchner is bad news, Bass is constantly singing her praises.

And if that wasn’t enough, Bass is the same guy who went on TV to blame dead victims for airbags that didn’t deploy and faulty power steering that was found in thousands of General Motors vehicles. Mind you General Motors knew about these problems and refused to do anything about them until it was too late.

Bass however didn’t care. As long as he was able to make good on his investment in General Motors, that’s all that really mattered to him.

While Bass has indeed made some legit calls in the past, based on his history, its hard to believe anything he says. You never know if he is sincere or simply trying to pad his pockets.

Premier Plastic Surgery In Texas

Plastic surgery is not just limited to tummy tucks and nose jobs anymore, in fact the field of plastic surgery has grown to be a place where burn victims get a chance to cover their scars with new skin and breast cancer survivors get augmentations to replace what the cancer took. Looking for a good surgeon is pivotal and Texas has a long list of top plastic surgeons in the area. Their list include names like Dr. Steve Byrd who is the Director of Plastic Surgery at the Children’s Medical Center and Dr Robert Wilcox who has twenty years under his belt. Dr. Jennifer Walden is another big name in aesthetic surgery, and she has quickly become one of Texas’ top plastic surgeons.

Walden is well known in the media for her commentary on aesthetic surgery, new and upcoming surgical techniques, and is also a published author. Walden has been a guest on big names networks like ABC News, Fox News, and VH1, to give her opinions on anything regarding aesthetic surgery. Don’t think she’s all talk though, after graduating salutatorian from the University of Texas Medical Branch Walden flew through her internship and residency with talent and dedication. Her continued perfection of her technique landed her a highly sought after and honorable fellowship at the Manhattan Eye, Ear, and Throat Hospital. Walden continued her work at the premier hospital in New York for seven years before returning to her native home of Austin, Texas.

She opened up her own private practice focusing on plastic surgery in Austin shortly after her move. Since then Walden has been listed as one of America’s Top 24 Beauty Surgeons in Harper’s Bazaar in 2014 and has become a member of Modern Aesthetics’ and Plastic Surgery Practice’s Editorial Board of Directors. She’s also one of the few women elected to serve on the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. She’s also published multiple papers in medical journals on the technical advancement of surgery. Walden is well rounded, smart, and dedicated to her work as well as patients who seek her expertise.

Ricardo Guimarães Growing Banco BMG

Antônio Mourão Guimarães started the family’s bank in 1930 as the Land Credit Bank in Brazil. Today his grandson, Ricardo Guimarães has risen in the family business to become the current CEO of the modern continuation of that bank, Banco BMG. His family is now one of the key influencers in Brazil, in the state of Minas Gerais. Their bank has become the biggest too.

Ricardo Guimarães has launched many large scale programs that have led BMG into the lucrative area of personal and payroll loans. This new area was seen as risky in 1998, and yet Mr. Guimarães saw the potential, which paid off for BMG handsomely. As he has enlarged the bank’s business he has kept operating costs down and relied of a distributed network of sales consultants scattered across the country. One reason for BMG’s great success is the consistently low interest rates charged on loans. Another reason is his constant work to keep people defaulting on their loans to an absolute minimum. Banco BMG also publishes the number of defaults to the public.

Along the way Mr. Guimarães has become quite dedicated to professional world soccer. His bank often contributes to the support of promising players, no matter what team they are on. And he is a big supporter of his local ball club: Atletico-MG, where he is also the club’s President. He also manages finances for the Alvinegro club.

Ricardo Guimarães’ is really committed to supporting soccer financially, and the reason he created the Ricardo Soccer BR1 hedge fund. It is one of many ways that his family gives back to their native country. Over $20 million has been raised to give full support to many of Brazil’s players, and especially his local club. Although his club has never lost money, they have sometimes basically broken even, so at least the club has never lost money.

One of the top civic honors in Brazil, the Town Hall Honors degree, was presented to Ricardo Guimarães by the bank’s former president, Léo Bourgeois de Castro. In his speech, de Castro reminded the audience of all the fine work he had done for Brazil and how his whole family through the decades have helped the country in many ways. And he emphasized how Ricardo had been required by his family to work hard on his way from a lowly office assistant position at BMG, rising all the way up to the top. Information for this article was translated into English from Shots Well Aimed as well as Ricardo Guimarães’ Biography and Honorary Degree For Ricardo Guimarães.