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MINNEAPOLIS, Aug. 21 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Piper Jaffray today announced the appointment of Lois Quam as Managing Director, Alternative Investments, a newly created senior post responsible for developing new business opportunities in the alternative energy/clean technology and health care sectors. Quam will be based in Minneapolis.

Since joining UnitedHealth Group in 1989, Quam helped build it into one of the fastest growing companies in the United States and led the formation and growth of United's public and seniors businesses, which now earn over $30 billion in annual revenue. At Piper Jaffray, she will manage investment offerings in two areas of high social interest and growth potential: clean technology solutions and health care services.

"Based on her outstanding record of professional accomplishment, Lois is uniquely qualified to extend our global capabilities in health care and clean technology -- an area of strong opportunity for our company," said Andrew Duff, Piper Jaffray chairman and CEO. "Piper Jaffray and our clients will benefit enormously from her experience in working through these complex issues."

Piper Jaffray has long been a leading middle market investment bank in health care and recently developed a leadership position in the emerging clean technology sector. In this new leadership position, Quam will oversee Piper Jaffray equity investment offerings in these areas. These new offerings will extend the private capital funds Piper Jaffray currently manages.

"Arriving at equitable and effective solutions to difficult problems has been at the heart of everything I've done during my career," Quam said. "The opportunity to work with Piper Jaffray on these vitally important, high-growth areas, like alternative energy and health care, is very attractive to me."

Quam, the highest-ranking Minnesotan in Fortune magazine's list of "Most Powerful Women in Business," has a proven record of developing innovative and effective business responses to major health care challenges as well as working effectively with government. Previously, Quam chaired the Minnesota Health Care Access commission, which recommended the formation of MinnesotaCare, the state's medical insurance program for low-income Minnesotans. She also served as a senior adviser to the White House Task Force on Health Care Reform during the Clinton administration.

About Piper Jaffray

Piper Jaffray Companies is a leading, international middle market investment bank and institutional securities firm, serving the needs of middle market corporations, private equity groups, public entities, nonprofit clients and institutional investors. Founded in 1895, Piper Jaffray provides a comprehensive set of products and services, including equity and debt capital markets products; public finance services; mergers and acquisitions advisory services; high-yield and structured products; institutional equity and fixed-income sales and trading; and equity and high-yield research. With headquarters in Minneapolis, Piper Jaffray has 25 offices across the United States and international locations in London and Shanghai. Piper Jaffray & Co. is the firm's principal operating subsidiary. (NYSE: PJC) (http://www.piperjaffray.com)

Since 1895. Member SIPC and NYSE.

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SOURCE Piper Jaffray

CONTACT: Investors, Jennifer A. Olson-Goude, +1-612-303-6277, or Media, Rob Litt, +1-612-303-8266, both of Piper Jaffray