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MINNEAPOLIS, Sep 02, 2008 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Piper Jaffray & Co. has expanded its aircraft finance team to strengthen its industry-leading aircraft finance business. The new additions to the team include Doug Runte, Scott Sodokoff, Dan Reese and John Covello, who will add substantial depth, breadth and an increased level of client service to the firm's foundation of structured analytics expertise. Altogether, they bring nearly 50 years of experience in structured finance products from prominent firms on Wall Street, including Bear Stearns, Morgan Stanley, RBS Greenwich Capital and UBS, to Piper Jaffray.

"This team brings significant knowledge of the airline industry to the firm, which complements our existing business in aviation-related structured products," said Ben May, managing director and head of fixed income services. "The expansion of this team will allow us to broaden our expertise into airline credit default swaps, airport facility bonds and other loan products."

Runte has more than 15 years of experience in fixed income, providing coverage of airlines and aircraft-backed securities, airline special facility bonds, aerospace and defense, and other industry sectors. He joins Piper Jaffray as a managing director and senior analyst in fixed income analytics in New York. He was previously a managing director at RBS Greenwich Capital where focused on the transportation sector, as well as airline debt and aircraft-backed securities, such as enhanced equipment trust certificates (EETCs). Runte has been consistently ranked by Institutional Investor magazine as a top analyst in the transportation sector in its annual survey of major institutional investors. He graduated magna cum laude with a bachelor's degree from Duke University, holds a Master of Business Administration degree with a concentration in finance from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and is a CFA Charterholder.

With more than 21 years of transactional experience as a senior trader, desk and group head in the credit fixed income market, Sodokoff joins Piper Jaffray as a managing director and senior trader in the New York office. He was previously a managing director and senior trader at Bear Stearns & Co. Inc. where he focused on EETCs, project finance and credit-enhanced structures. He held similar roles at UBS Investment Bank and Prudential Securities Inc., focusing on credit-enhanced vehicles. Sodokoff earned a bachelor's degree from Dartmouth College.

Reese rejoins the aircraft finance team as a senior desk analyst in Minneapolis to expand the team's expertise in aviation-related securities and strategic opportunities. He was previously a vice president and research analyst at Piper Jaffray where he focused on aircraft asset-backed securitizations (ABS), EETCs and other structured finance sectors, and spent several years providing analysis of the structured finance market, helping to build the firm's original aircraft sector expertise. Reese graduated cum laude with a bachelor's degree from St. Olaf College.

Covello has more than 12 years of trading experience and previously worked at Bear Stearns for more than 10 years. At Piper Jaffray, he supports the aircraft finance team as a trader in the New York office where he focuses primarily on secured airline debt, energy project debt and private placements. He has also coordinated retail and institutional sales with the institutional trading desk. Covello holds a bachelor's degree in banking and finance from Hofstra University.

About Piper Jaffray

Piper Jaffray Companies (NYSE: PJC) 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, Hong Kong, and Shanghai. Piper Jaffray & Co. is the firm's principal operating subsidiary. (http://www.piperjaffray.com)

(C) 2008 Piper Jaffray & Co., 800 Nicollet Mall, Suite 800, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55402-7020

SOURCE: Piper Jaffray & Co.

Piper Jaffray
Media Relations
Rob Litt, 612-303-8266