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MINNEAPOLIS, Dec 20, 2004 /PRNewswire-FirstCall via COMTEX/ -- Piper Jaffray was recently recognized as having the fifth-best full-service brokerage Web site according to the 2004 fourth quarter Full-Service Brokerage Scorecard results, a bi- annual ranking by Watchfire(R) GomezPro, a provider of competitive benchmarking, site evaluation and advisory services. The recent ranking was up from the firm's seventh-place ranking in the second quarter. Eleven full- service brokerage Web sites were evaluated for this scorecard.

The Piper Jaffray Web site, located at http://www.piperjaffray.com , was recognized for its "Ease of Use," where it ranked second as well as its "Functionality," where it came in fifth. According to Watchfire(R) GomezPro, "Piper Jaffray's myriad of enhancements over the last half-year have boosted its overall ranking."

"We are thrilled to have our Client Online Services site recognized in this ranking," said Paul Grangaard, head of Private Client Services at Piper Jaffray. "Through our Client Online Services site, we offer our clients additional online resources, which complement the high level of service they get from their financial advisors."

Released bi-annually, the Scorecards capture how customers use financial services Web sites by measuring how well the sites facilitate the completion of specific user tasks. In addition, the scorecards measure how well sites meet criteria across four categories - Functionality, Ease of Use, Privacy and Security and Quality and Availability thereby providing firms with actionable insight into their strengths and weaknesses.

The top-10 scorecard rankings were as follows:

  1. Smith Barney
  2. UBS
  3. Merrill Lynch
  4. Wells Fargo
  5. Piper Jaffray
    Wachovia
  6. DB Alex Brown
  7. Legg Mason
  8. A.G. Edwards
  9. Edward D. Jones

For this and other Scorecard rankings, go to https://www.watchfire.com/gomezpro/login.aspx .

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 < http://www.piperjaffray.com >.

Since 1895. Member SIPC and NYSE.

SOURCE Piper Jaffray & Co.

Susan Beatty, Media Relations, of Piper Jaffray & Co., 612-303-5680