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MINNEAPOLIS, Feb 28, 2005 /PRNewswire-FirstCall via COMTEX/ -- Piper Jaffray Companies (NYSE: PJC) announced today that Robert W. Peterson will head its Private Client Services business effective April 1. Peterson, 37, replaces Paul D. Grangaard, who is leaving Piper Jaffray after 19 years to pursue a unique opportunity at a private equity firm in Minneapolis. Grangaard has led Private Client Services since October 2001.

"Paul managed an important transition for our Private Client Services business," said Andrew Duff, chairman and chief executive officer of Piper Jaffray. "The strategy is set, the products and services are highly competitive, and the management team is in place. Bob is the right leader to take it from here. He has tremendous execution skills and credibility due to his integrity, teamwork, and track record of results."

Peterson joined Piper Jaffray in 1993, was the head of equity research from 2000 to 2003, and has been head of Investment Research at Piper Jaffray since 2003. The Piper Jaffray equity research group was ranked in the top 10 in the Wall Street Journal Best on the Street 2004 Analyst Survey; ranked second by Greenwich Associates among small- and mid-cap funds, and first for "most creative ideas and themes"; and tied for seventh place overall in the Forbes/StarMine survey on earnings estimates, stock picking and overall analysis.

Investment Research will be aligned with the business units that are focused on the investor-client value proposition. "Bob has taken significant steps during the past two years to ensure the quality, integrity and independence of our research, and these measures will continue," said Duff. "Although the reporting lines will change, the safeguards we have established to address potential conflicts of interest between research and investment banking will remain intact."

The Private Client Services business at Piper Jaffray manages client assets of $51 billion. In the second half of 2004, the unit began growing its ranks of advisors, finishing the year at 860. Piper Jaffray maintains an open architecture model, which allows the firm's financial advisors to provide clients with best-in-class products and advisory services that meet their unique needs.

"As a member of the firm's management committee, I have been deeply engaged in the Private Client Services strategy," said Peterson. "I understand it, I believe in it, and I am confident in our ability to execute it. We have great people, a great platform for providing value to our clients, and a distinctive employee value proposition to attract talented, client-focused professionals to Piper Jaffray."

About Piper Jaffray Companies

Piper Jaffray Companies (NYSE: PJC) is a focused securities firm dedicated to delivering superior financial advice, investment products and transaction execution within selected sectors of the financial services marketplace. The company operates through two primary revenue-generating segments: Capital Markets and Private Client Services. Through its chief operating subsidiary, Piper Jaffray & Co., the firm has served corporations, government and non- profit entities, institutional investors and the financial advisory needs of private individuals since 1895. Headquartered in Minneapolis, Piper Jaffray has approximately 3,000 employees in 105 offices in 23 states across the country and in London. For more information about Piper Jaffray, visit us online at .

Since 1895. Member SIPC and NYSE.

SOURCE Piper Jaffray Companies

Media Relations, Susan Beatty of Piper Jaffray Companies, +1-612-303-5680