Officers & Directors

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Officers & Directors

Senior Management

James Dondero
President
James Dondero is the chairman of the Board and has served as a member of the Board since May 2015. Mr. Dondero currently serves as the Company’s President. Mr. Dondero is also: the co-founder and president of Highland Capital Management, L.P.; founder and president of NexPoint Advisors, L.P. and chairman of NexBank SSB. Highland, NexPoint and NexBank are all affiliates of the Company. Mr. Dondero co-founded Highland in 1993 with Mark Okada. Mr. Dondero has over 30 years of experience investing in credit and equity markets and has helped pioneer credit asset classes. He has also been a director of Jernigan Capital, Inc., a self-storage lending REIT, since August 2016. Highland and its affiliates currently manage approximately $14.9 billion in assets as of February 28, 2017.
Brian Mitts
Chief Financial Officer, Treasurer, Executive Vice President
Brian Mitts has served as a member of the Board since September 2014. Mr. Mitts also currently serves as our Chief Financial Officer, Executive VP-Finance and Treasurer. Mr. Mitts joined Highland in February 2007 and currently also serves as the Chief Operations Officer for Highland Capital Management Fund Advisors, L.P. and NexPoint and leads business development for the real estate team, developing new products and exploring new markets. Mr. Mitts has also served as a director of NexPoint MultiFamily Capital Trust, Inc., a non-traded REIT, since November 2013. Mr. Mitts works closely with the real estate team and is integral in marketing real estate products for Highland and its affiliates.
Matt McGraner
Chief Investment Officer & Executive Vice President
Matt McGraner has served as our Executive VP and Chief Investment Officer since March 2015. Mr. McGraner has also served as a Managing Director at Highland since May 2013. With over nine years of real estate, private equity and legal experience, his primary responsibilities are to lead the operations of the real estate platform at Highland, as well as source and execute investments, manage risk and develop potential business opportunities, including fundraising, private investments and joint ventures. Mr. McGraner is also a licensed attorney and was formerly an associate at Jones Day from 2011 to 2013, with a practice primarily focused on private equity, real estate and mergers and acquisitions. Prior to joining Highland, Mr. McGraner led the acquisition and financing of over $200 million of real estate investments and advised on $16.3 billion of M&A and private equity transactions. Since joining Highland in 2013, Mr. McGraner has led the acquisition and financing of over $2.3 billion of real estate investments.
Matthew Goetz
Senior Vice President
Matthew Goetz has served as our Senior VP-Investments and Asset Management since March 2015. Mr. Goetz is also a Director at Highland and was previously a Senior Financial Analyst at Highland from 2014 to March 2017. With over nine years of real estate, private equity and equity trading experience, his primary responsibilities are to asset manage, source acquisitions, manage risk and develop potential business opportunities for Highland, including fundraising, private investments and joint ventures. Before joining Highland in June 2014, Mr. Goetz was a Senior Financial Analyst in CBRE’s Debt and Structured Finance group from May 2011 to June 2014 where he underwrote over $7 billion and more than 30 million square feet of multifamily, office, and retail commercial real estate. In his time at CBRE, a commercial real estate services firm, Mr. Goetz and his team closed over $2.5 billion in debt and equity financing. Prior to joining CBRE’s Debt and Structured Finance group, he held roles as an Analyst and Senior Analyst for CBRE’s Recovery and Restructuring Services group from September 2009 to May 2011 where he assisted in the asset management and disposition of over 3,000 real estate owned assets valued at more than $750 million. He also provided commercial real estate consulting services to banks, special servicers, hedge funds, and private equity groups.
Scott Ellington
General Counsel
Scott Ellington has served as our General Counsel and Secretary since March 2015. Mr. Ellington is also Chief Legal Officer and General Counsel at Highland, an affiliate of the Company. Prior to joining Highland in May 2007, Mr. Ellington worked as a Real Estate Counsel for Wells Fargo Bank, in its Commercial Real Estate Group. Mr. Ellington primarily focused on the due diligence and documentation of commercial real estate credits. Formerly, Mr. Ellington worked from 2002-2004 as Bankruptcy Counsel to Countrywide Financial Corporation, a financial services company.

Board of Directors

James Dondero
Chairman
James Dondero is the chairman of the Board and has served as a member of the Board since May 2015. Mr. Dondero currently serves as the Company’s President. Mr. Dondero is also: the co-founder and president of Highland Capital Management, L.P.; founder and president of NexPoint Advisors, L.P. and chairman of NexBank SSB. Highland, NexPoint and NexBank are all affiliates of the Company. Mr. Dondero co-founded Highland in 1993 with Mark Okada. Mr. Dondero has over 30 years of experience investing in credit and equity markets and has helped pioneer credit asset classes. He has also been a director of Jernigan Capital, Inc., a self-storage lending REIT, since August 2016. Highland and its affiliates currently manage approximately $14.9 billion in assets as of February 28, 2017.
Brian Mitts
Director
Brian Mitts has served as a member of the Board since September 2014. Mr. Mitts also currently serves as our Chief Financial Officer, Executive VP-Finance and Treasurer. Mr. Mitts joined Highland in February 2007 and currently also serves as the Chief Operations Officer for Highland Capital Management Fund Advisors, L.P. and NexPoint and leads business development for the real estate team, developing new products and exploring new markets. Mr. Mitts has also served as a director of NexPoint MultiFamily Capital Trust, Inc., a non-traded REIT, since November 2013. Mr. Mitts works closely with the real estate team and is integral in marketing real estate products for Highland and its affiliates.
Ed Constantino
Director
Mr. Constantino has over 40 years of audit, advisory and tax experience working for two major accounting firms, Arthur Andersen LLP and KPMG LLP. Mr. Constantino retired from KPMG in late 2009, where he was an audit partner in charge of the firm’s real estate and asset management businesses. Mr. Constantino is, and since 2010 has been, a member of the Board of Directors of Patriot National Bankcorp and Patriot National Bank. He is also a member of the Board of Directors of ARC Property Trust, Inc. and a member of the Audit Committee of the New York City Housing Authority. Mr. Constantino also serves as a consultant for the law firm Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP. He is a licensed CPA, a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and a member of the New York State Society of Public Accountants. He is currently a member of the Board of Trustees and the Audit Committee Chairman of St. Francis College in Brooklyn Heights, New York. Mr. Constantino was selected to serve on the NXRT Board because of his extensive accounting experience, particularly in the real estate field.
Scott Kavanaugh
Director
Mr. Kavanaugh is, and since December 2009 has been the CEO of First Foundation Inc. (“FFI”), a California based diversified financial services company with two wholly owned subsidiaries, First Foundation Bank First Foundation Advisors. Mr. Kavanaugh has been the Vice-Chairman of FFI since June 2007. He also is, and since September 2007 has been, the Chairman and CEO of First Foundation Bank. From June 2007 until December 2009, he served as President and Chief Operating Officer of FFI. Mr. Kavanaugh was a founding stockholder and served as Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer and a member of the board of directors of Commercial Capital Bancorp, Inc., the parent holding company of Commercial Capital Bank, from 1999 until 2003. From 1998 until 2003, Mr. Kavanaugh served as the Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer and a director of Commercial Capital Mortgage. From 1993 to 1998, Mr. Kavanaugh was a partner and head of trading for fixed income and equity securities at Great Pacific Securities, Inc., a west coast-based regional securities firm. Mr. Kavanaugh is, and since 2008 has been, a member of the board of directors of Colorado Federal Savings Bank and its parent holding company, Silver Queen Financial Services, Inc. From 2013 to 2015, Mr. Kavanaugh served as a member of the boards of directors of NexBank SSB and its parent holding company, NexBank Capital, Inc., an affiliate of Highland. From January 2000 until June 2012, Mr. Kavanaugh served as Independent Trustee and Chairman of the Audit Committee, and from June 2012 until December 2013 served as Chairman of Highland Mutual Funds, a mutual fund group managed by Highland. Mr. Kavanaugh was selected to serve on the NXRT Board because of his expertise in multifamily lending, entrepreneurial executive leadership, finance, banking, real estate, and investment management along with his experience as both an executive officer and a director of multiple companies.
Dr. Arthur Laffer
Director
Dr. Arthur Laffer is the founder and chairman of Laffer Associates, an economic research and consulting firm. A former member of President Reagan’s Economic Policy Advisory Board during the 1980s, Dr. Laffer’s economic acumen and influence have earned him the distinction in many publications as The Father of Supply-Side Economics. He has served on several boards of directors of public and private companies, including staffing company MPS Group, Inc., which was sold to Adecco Group for $1.3 billion in 2009. Dr. Laffer was previously a consultant to Secretary of the Treasury William Simon, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, and Secretary of the Treasury George Shultz. In the early 1970s, Dr. Laffer was the first to hold the title of Chief Economist at the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) under Mr. Shultz. Additionally, Dr. Laffer was formerly the Distinguished University Professor at Pepperdine University and a member of the Pepperdine Board of Directors. He also served as Charles B. Thornton Professor of Business Economics at the University of Southern California and as Associate Professor of Business Economics at the University of Chicago. Laffer is credited with advancing the concept of supply-side economics when he drew a curve on the back of a napkin at a dinner meeting, showing that government tax receipts can sometimes increase when federal income tax rates are lowered. The Laffer Curve and supply-side economics served as the foundation for Reaganomics in the 1980s when Dr. Laffer served on the President’s Economic Policy Advisory Board from 1981 to 1989. Dr. Laffer has been recognized for his achievements in economics, having been featured in Time Magazine’s 1999 cover story, The Century’s Greatest Minds, for inventing the Laffer Curve, which Time deemed one of a few of the advances that powered this extraordinary century.