Employee Updates

In Fond Memory of Jim Buchholz — Founder, Colleague, and Friend

The Prime Buchholz family suffered a tremendous loss last week when one of our founders and very dear friends, Jim Buchholz, passed away in Kansas City Thursday, September 9, 2021, at the age of 86. Our heartfelt condolences go out to his wife Marilyn and their children, Sarah and Harold, and extended family during this difficult time.

As news of Jim’s passing made its way through the firm, it is remarkable how often the words “kind,” “generous,” and “gentleman” appeared in emails, messages, and personal notes.  Our team greatly appreciates the kind words and memories that have been shared.

When Jon Prime and Jim started this firm in 1988, it was done out of necessity, not personal gain. Each had established, successful careers running finance offices at prestigious colleges and universities, where they tried to safeguard and grow the endowments that were entrusted to them.  However, they each also shared the frustration of an advisory industry wrought with conflicted, self-serving business models.

When they met at Rochester Institute of Technology, their shared experiences turned into shared goals.

“Our mutual interest created a natural affinity for one another and a specialized interest in the management of endowments,” Jon shared this week. “This led to the founding of our firm, and the realization of our collective vision of continuing to support the mission of the higher education community while also providing an effective model for other organizations and institutions.”


Image of Prime Buchholz Founders Jim Buchholz and Jon Prime (left and right) and President Bill McCarron at a company event.

Prime Buchholz Founders Jim Buchholz (left) and Jon Prime (right) enjoy a moment with Firm President Bill McCarron at a firm outing.

The humble origins of Prime Buchholz were just that—Jon Prime and Jim Buchholz, huddled in a one-room office, making phone calls, scribbling on notepads, and doing their best to serve the handful of clients they had.  Their sole purpose was to become an extension of the staff for each of their clients.

It didn’t take long for Jon and Jim to discover their efforts were making a difference. The relationships with those initial clients ultimately spanned multiples decades, and hundreds more were fostered since then.

Honesty, integrity, and understanding—those values epitomized Jim and became the hallmark of our firm.  In many ways, Jim was one of the original mission investors. He and Jon fixated on developing a deep understanding of each organization and becoming a partner in their mission.

“All of us who had the opportunity to work with Jim over the years knew that he was more than our consultant. He was a full partner in the Foundation’s mission,” said Gary Kidwell, President of Christian Church Foundation, which recently honored Jim with the President’s Award in recognition of his 30-year stewardship of its endowment.

“With Jim’s passing, the Foundation loses an icon and, more importantly, a very dear friend.”

Jim was particularly skilled at connecting, both personally and professionally. He was exceedingly generous with his time and knowledge.  Jim served on numerous nonprofit boards and committees, and was active in the communities in which he lived. He exuded the philanthropic spirit that fuels so many of the nonprofit organizations we serve and that make our communities a better place to live.

For the organizations Jim worked with, the impact of his life’s work is immeasurable and will be felt for generations to come.

For the friends he leaves behind, we will do our best to carry on his legacy of generosity and kindness, and to keep the values he held dear with us—always.

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