Category Archives: Inspiring Stories

Stephen Murray: Profile Of Greatness

The finance industry is a tough place to work. Few are ever qualified and those who can cut it find themselves struggling to compete. Someone who can not only make into a private equity firm but also eventually obtain a leadership role is truly an exceptional human being. Stephen Murray is a great example of someone who exemplifies just what that exception spirit is.

Over the course of his very long career, Charles Murray has sat on the board of companies such as Crestcom International and Strongwood Insurance Holdings. Nothing seemed to get in his way of success. He simply stood out from the pack.   Joining J.P Morgan in 1989, Murray began by building the company into something even greater.

Stephen Murray innovated and pioneering his way through the industry. J.P Morgan typically operated by buying stakes in larger private equity firms. For example, when it purchased a minority position in the firm Amtrak In 2004, J.P Morgan managed to successfully bid for ownership of the public drug company Warner Chilcott, outbidding the likes of such giants TPG and Blackstone. Learn more about Stephen Murray CCMP:

Intimidated by the power move, TPG warned JPMorgan it would cut off ties to the firm, causing JPMorgan to retaliate by cutting CCMP (you can learn more about Stephen Murray CCMP:  When J.P. Morgan purchased Chase under Murray’s wisdom he made it one the world’s largest and most profitable private equity firms.

Eventually, the company did so well Stephen Murray was named CEO of Chase under its new name, J.P Morgan partners.   When CCMP left J.P Morgan with Charles Murray as its CEO, it continued to raise billion dollar funds. The latest fund it produced was worth $3.6 billion.

The success followed the company with him at its lead. Unfortunately, Murray stepped down and has recently passed away. Regardless his legacy still stands as one of the most prolific and greatest in finance.

Read more:

Stephen Murray, The Great Investor and Deal Maker for CCMP Capital

Ex-CCMP Capital CEO Steve Murray passes away

Bruce Levenson: An Industrialist with Strong Foundation in Media Operations

An NBA team owner and media investor, Bruce Levenson, has been acknowledged for his industrialist activities. Levenson is associated with a TechTarget, a company operating in the technology field, which he is a founding member. TechTarget provides services in the media sectors such as the creation of online content and conducting brand advertising to promote businesses.

Levenson served as a representative of his Atlanta Hawks team within the NBA Board of Governors where he was the Governor. United Communication Group- UCG is a company, which Levenson formed along with Ed Peskowitz. The formation of this company was the starting point for Levenson’s business career.

It was not a big business by the time it was started considering that its offices were located in a storeroom. The two personalities started the company in an apartment in Gaithersburg, Maryland, which belonged to Levenson. One may wonder the kind of vision of these guys had.

A newsletter dubbed Oil Express was the first product for UCG since its inception in 1977. This newsletter was publishing news and stories that covered the oil industry. Through the efforts of Levenson and Ed Peskowitz, their media outlet started growing, and it is what has become the well-known UCG brand in the media today.

UCG publishes information regarding to news, data, and analysis often covering numerous sectors ranging from mortgage banking, energy, technology, healthcare, and telecommunications. It has become a resourceful tool for insights and engaging information and data, which businesses in these sectors count on for their research and market studies.

UCG has also ventured in the mobile technology world having established an app, which motorists use to locate gas stations that are selling their fuel at a low price. This app is referred to as GasBuddy and helps motorists to cut back their fuel consumption by ensuring that they fuel in the least priced gas stations.

Levenson has previously invested in NBA team, which was recently sold out to a group represented by an investor known as Tony Ressler. Atlanta Hawks basketball team had been under the co-ownership of Levenson with other individuals including Ed Peskowitz. However, in September 2014, Levenson voiced his plans to relinquish the ownership of his controlling shares.

It may have been a decision, which surprised many people, however, it seemed that he was not the only one going that path, because in January 2015, the other partners who had owned Atlanta Hawks also denounced their ownership and said they would too be willing to sell their shares.

The deal for selling Hawks had been going until it sold to Ressler’s team. Ressler worked along other interested parties and offered their bid to purchase the team. While the bid was somehow low, they topped up the amount and bought the team slightly higher than they bided.

It sold at $850 million thought their offer initially stood at $730 million. Levenson and his colleagues were impressed with the sale deal, which allowed the team to sell at 27 percent more than what the group seeking the new ownership had offered on the table in their auction bid.

James Dondero’s Path to Success

Jim Dondero, the high-Powered Dallas hedge fund manager, is a commerce graduate of the University of Virginia with a major in accounting and finance. He began his career as an investment analyst in 1984 and has served in various organizations at different positions and , in the process, played a critical role in shaping the investment industry over time.

James Dondero is a co-founder and the CEO of Highland capital Management. He resides in Dallas, Texas, where Highland is headquartered. Through Highland Capital, he has become popular as a pioneer in the development of the Collateralized Loan Obligation Market and Credit Oriented Solutions for investors and global institutions. His experience in credit markets spans over 30 years. Dondero’s portfolio management include leveraged bank loans, derivatives, preferred stocks and common stocks, mortgage-backed securities, emerging markets, and investment grade corporates.

Before founding Highland in 1993, James Dondero was the Chief Investment Officer (CIO) for Protective Life’s GIC subsidiary. Within duration of five years, under his able leadership, the business grew swiftly from concept to over two Billion US Dollars. His success at the subsidiary of Protective Life is often associated with his prior experience and education background. During the period leading to his appointment to lead the company, Dondero managed approximately one Billion US Dollars in fixed income funds for American Express. Prior to that, he completed the financial training program at JP Morgan.

Highland Capital Management is an SEC-registered investment advisor and is one of the largest and most experienced global alternative credit investment managers. According to information from credible industry sources, the firm has total assets under management of approximately $20 billion. Highland specializes in credit investment. However, they also invest a small portion of this AUM in equities. Highland pride themselves in their diversified client base that foundations, funds of funds, high net-worth individuals, endowments, corporations, financial institutions, and public pension plans.

Dondero is currently serving as the Chairman of the Board of NextPoint Residential Trust at the same time. In May 12 2015, Nextpoint announced that James Dondero and Arthur Laffer had been appointed as members of their board of directors. In the words of Brian Mitts, Chief Financial Officer of NexPoint Residential Trust, the company is excited and is looking forward to seeing the added value and expertise that the two high-quality individuals would bring to their team.

Apart from NextPoint Residential Trust, Dondero serves on the Board Directors for American Banknote and MGM Studios. He is also serving as the Chairman of the Board for CCs Medical Corporation, and Cornerstone Healthcare.

James Dondero’s hard work has borne fruit in his career. Funds associated with his management have received several prestigious awards. Some of these awards are the Morning Star’s number one Health care Long and Short Equity Fund in 2014, Morning Star’s 5-star designation for Global Allocation in 2014, and the Lipper Award for Floating Rate Opportunities in 2014. Dondero’s path to success is evidently a long one. It is also characterized with dedication to service and servant leadership.