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MINNEAPOLIS, Nov. 1 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Piper Jaffray is pleased to announce it has established its "A Place to Call Home" initiative, partnering with the Neighborhood Development Center, Inc. (NDC), a community-based non-profit organization that works in the low-income communities of St. Paul, Minneapolis, surrounding suburbs and greater Minnesota. Piper Jaffray has committed a total cash award of $500,000 and employee volunteer time over a three-year period and kicked off the partnership with its initial grant of $175,000.

The "A Place to Call Home" initiative was formed to make a significant impact in a selected neighborhood by providing financial and volunteer resources to its partner in order to help accomplish objectives that would not otherwise be possible or as easily attained. After months of learning and reviewing options, a steering committee of Piper Jaffray employees selected NDC as its partner in August.

The first phase of NDC's work, done in partnership with Project for Pride in Living and Whittier CDC, was the formation in the Midtown Phillips neighborhood of the Mercado Central -- a thriving Latino marketplace for small business owners, most of whom are recent immigrants. Mercado businesses collectively employ hundreds of individuals and generate more than $4.5 million in sales per year. This economic activity has had a significant positive effect on the local community and has led NDC to plan a strategic expansion of its work in the neighborhood.

Piper Jaffray will work with NDC to support this expanded scope of activity in Midtown Phillips. Specifically, the partnership will support renovation of the old Antiques Minnesota building across Lake Street from the Mercado Central for use by "second-stage" entrepreneurs to expand their businesses. This project will also include an entrepreneur training center and computer learning facility.

"We are very excited to initiate this partnership with NDC," said Tom Schnettler, head of Equities and Investment Banking at Piper Jaffray & Co. and management committee chair of the partnership. "The success of NDC's work in the Midtown Phillips neighborhood to date is very impressive. We will use our financial investment and business expertise to assist NDC's efforts to help local entrepreneurs expand their businesses, grow their management skills and increase employment, all of which will have a positive impact throughout the community."

"We are thrilled to have been selected as the partner for Piper Jaffray's 'A Place to Call Home' initiative," said Mihailo Temali, executive director of NDC. "But as useful as the funding from Piper Jaffray will be to our project, the other levels of this relationship hold even more potential to move NDC's mission ahead. Piper Jaffray is willing to work with us on everything from technology to financial planning and from strategic thinking to rolling up their sleeves and painting walls and planting flowers! A firm of Piper Jaffray's size, with an initiative this generous, will provide us with unique and invaluable resources for many years to come."

Piper Jaffray & Co. is the chief operating subsidiary of Piper Jaffray Companies (NYSE: PJC), 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. Piper Jaffray & Co. 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 .

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