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New Firm to Be Named 'Sightline Partners'

MINNEAPOLIS, Oct. 13 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ --Piper Jaffray Companies (NYSE: PJC) today announced plans to transition its venture capital business to an independent firm, effective in the fourth quarter of 2004, subject to receipt of approvals from regulators and the funds' limited partners.

The key principals from its subsidiary, Piper Jaffray Ventures, will form a new entity named Sightline Partners. The new entity will be led by Buzz Benson, a 16-year veteran of the private equity sector and a Piper Jaffray Ventures managing director, and will have offices in Minneapolis and San Francisco.

Sightline Partners will manage each of the four Piper Jaffray Ventures Healthcare Funds, comprising $225 million of committed capital, which will be renamed "Sightline Healthcare Funds." Future health care-focused funds will be raised independently from Piper Jaffray.

"This transition will enable Piper Jaffray Ventures' clients to continue to be well served," said Andrew Duff, chairman and chief executive officer of Piper Jaffray Companies. "It will be seamless to investors and portfolio companies as they will continue to work with the same team of professionals."

"Piper Jaffray Ventures has historically raised a majority of the capital for its health care funds from sources independent of Piper Jaffray," said Benson. "We believe our progression to full independence is in the best interests of our limited partners and look forward to continuing a positive relationship with Piper Jaffray going forward."

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. Investment Research, an independent group reporting to the CEO, supports clients of both segments. 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 111 offices in 23 states across the country and in London. For more information about Piper Jaffray, visit us online at http://www.piperjaffray.com .

Since 1895. Member SIPC and NYSE.

About Piper Jaffray Ventures

Founded in 1992, Piper Jaffray Ventures manages over $225 million in capital dedicated exclusively to funding innovative, emerging growth companies in the medical technology, biotechnology and healthcare services sectors. The Piper Jaffray Ventures investment team has a successful track record of providing value added assistance to entrepreneurs through active board representation, access to an extensive network of industry contacts and expert assistance with strategic and financing alternatives.

SOURCE Piper Jaffray Companies

CONTACT: Dana Wade, Media Relations of Piper Jaffray, +1-415-277-1556
Web site: http://www.piperjaffray.com