Media

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact:
At NICSA
Barbara Weidlich
Telephone: 508-485-1500
Email: bweidlich@nicsa.org
At NECF
Paula G. Bramante
Telephone: 617-951-2350 x243
Email: p.bramante@finance.edu

NICSA Partners with NECF In Support of First-of-its-Kind Online Program through UC Berkeley

Boston - January 26, 2004. The National Investment Company Service Association (NICSA) announced today that it is partnering with New England College of Finance (NECF) to promote a new online program with UC Berkeley Extension. This innovative and timely program, entitled "Accelerated Program in Financial Services", was created under the direction of an Advisory Board of senior management from prominent companies in the banking and investment management/mutual fund sectors. The program targets college graduates who seek industry knowledge as well as graduate-level education. The program has received funding support from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and is recommended for seven to nine graduate credits in transfer into masters degree programs.

"This is an exciting and very timely program", says Barbara V. Weidlich, president of NICSA. "We can now offer anytime, anywhere access to industry-specific education delivered at the graduate level, with credits transferring into highly regarded MBA programs. This will provide a perfect complement to NICSAs existing portfolio of conferences, seminars, regional meetings, and our online Certified Mutual Fund Specialist program delivered in partnership with Acadient."

In this jointly-delivered, fast-paced program, students will be engaged in parallel tracks. They will enroll in either a finance or general management concentration through Berkeley while simultaneously focusing on financial services education through NECF. Students will participate in online cohort groups at NECF where they will apply the lessons learned in their Berkeley studies to real-world financial situations. All learning will therefore be tied to the industry, ensuring relevance, practicality, and collaboration among students and companies. The program will culminate in a Capstone Project, which students will create as a strategic deliverable to their employers. The program may be completed in six to eight months.

"We are delighted to welcome NICSA as a partner in this important industry-driven program", says Robert A. Regan, president and CEO of NECF. "The NICSA brand resonates throughout the industry, and its large global membership is precisely the audience this online program is targeting. By leveraging our combined resources, brands, and intellectual capital, NICSA, UC Berkeley, and NECF deliver extraordinary value to the financial services industry."

Under the terms of this partnership agreement, NICSA and NECF will share revenues, and members of NICSA will receive a substantial tuition discount in the program. In addition to promoting the program to its members, NICSA will serve on the Advisory Board overseeing the program, where it will provide thought leadership on behalf of its members.

The program is scheduled for a March 2004 launch and will be offered four times throughout the year. Admission is open to college graduates of the financial services industry, and requires a written recommendation from management. For more information about this program, you may visit www.nicsa.org/apfs.


About NICSA
The National Investment Company Service Association (NICSA) is a not-for-profit trade association providing leadership and innovation in educational programming and information exchange within the operations sector of the worldwide investment industry.

NICSA membership totals more than 400 companies operating in major financial centers in the United States, Europe and Asia. The membership represents all segments of the mutual fund industry including mutual fund complexes, investment management companies, custodian banks, transfer agents and independent providers of specialized products and services.

NICSAs services to members include education, training and networking opportunities through conferences on a wide range of industry issues and developments; specialized publications, and access to NICSAs membership directory. NICSA also offers an On-Line Learning Center featuring the Certified Mutual Fund Specialist Program, the first-ever certification program of its kind.

NICSAs website (www.nicsa.org) offers up-to-date information about all of the Associations programs and activities.

About NECF
New England College of Finance is a not-for-profit educational organization serving all segments of financial services. Founded in Boston in 1909 as a banking institute, NECF achieved national prominence when it became recognized as an accredited, degree-granting college - the only organization of its kind in America ever to achieve full collegiate status. In 2002, NECF was selected by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation to be its partner in delivering online education to the financial services industry worldwide. A major eLearning grant from Sloan enabled the creation of NECFOnline and its partnership with UC Berkeley Extension. For more information about NECF, visit its web site at http://www.finance.edu.