Quality and Productivity Database

Descriptive Title of Proposal: PRIME (Program for Research and Investment Management Excellence)
Year Submitted 2005
Name of Institution University of Alberta
Name (Senior Administrative Office of the Institution) <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> Ron Ritter CA<br /> <br /> <br /> <br />
Title (Senior Administrative Office of the Institution) Associate Director & Treasurer
Telephone: 780 492-3000, x 2268
Email Address: Email hidden; Javascript is required.

The PRIME program has been a partnership between the local financial community, the School of Business and central administration from its inception. After agreement in principal was reached between the three groups, the concept was presented the University's Board Investment Committee, where it received approval. The early success of the program resulted in a portion of the School of Business' endowments being allocated. Further demonstrated success resulted in the University allocating central funds to the program.

Criteria Please submit one paragraph describing how the proposal fulfills each of the evaluation criteria.

The PRIME program can be implemented at any University with a finance program, provided that there is access to even a small financial services community with a demonstrated willingness to participate and mentor the students. The funds being managed by the students can come from existing endowments or from other University funds. The University of Alberta would be willing to share details of the academic program with any other interested institution. St Mary's University is currently in the process of developing a similar program based on the University of Alberta's Prime program.

Quality Impact

The main objective of the PRIME program is to create an enhanced learning experience for the students. This objective has been met in that more students apply to the program on an annual basis than can be accommodated. Furthermore interest has been expressed in creating a similar program within the MBA program. The second objective is to provide the local investment community with graduates that have superior skill sets. This objective has also been achieved in that all graduating PRIME students find employment in their field of study. The third objective is to create a venue that facilitates regular interaction between the University and the local community. Industry mentors are in frequent contact with students and also provide formal lectures and presentations on predetermined topics. The PRIME Board is comprised of members from the financial community, University Faculty and Administration. The final objective is to achieve a rate of return that exceeds the benchmark. The annualized value added over the benchmark since inception has been 13.43%

Productivity Impact

In percentage terms the value added over the benchmark return by the PRIME program has been 13.43%, since its inception in March of 2000. For the contributions from the School of Business and its endowments this has translated into approximately $90,000, while for the University funds the gains have amounted to $54,000.


Although similar academic programs have been implemented at other Universities, what makes the PRIME program unique is that it has become a partnership between the local financial community, the School of Business and the University's central administration. The program was seed funded by the local community, this was then matched by resources from the School of Business, then supplemented from existing endowments as well as general University funds. There are likely few such programs in which undergraduate finance students actually manage a portion of the University's assets. Students report to the local community on an annual basis at the Chartered Financial Analysts' annual economic forecast dinner in January. Students also periodically report to the University's Board Investment Committee.