William Blair & Company Strategic Alliance With Poalim Capital Markets

Wednesday, June 9, 2004

William Blair & Company has announced a strategic alliance with Poalim Capital Markets, a subsidiary of Bank Hapoalim, in Israel.

As part of the strategic cooperation, William Blair & Company and Poalim Capital Markets will offer clients in Israel a range of investment banking services in global markets, including public offerings in the U.S. securities markets, mergers and acquisitions, advisory services, and private placements, among others.

Nir Brunstein, president and chief executive officer of Poalim Capital Markets, said, “We are delighted and proud to be the exclusive Israeli representatives for one of the oldest and best-known players in the U.S. capital markets. I am glad to say that we are already working on a joint deal in Israel and are in the running for additional transactions.”

Richard P. Kiphart, head of Corporate Finance at William Blair & Company, said, “We are excited about the opportunities present in the Israeli market and the chance to work with Poalim Capital Markets and Bank Hapoalim, the largest bank in Israel. We are confident that our alliance can bring significant value to our mutual clients, and we believe there are many quality companies that we can bring to the U.S. securities markets.”

The head of European Banking for William Blair International, Brent W. Gledhill, added that “the alliance with Poalim is part of an expansion of our international banking relationships, and we see excellent potential in the Israeli marketplace.”

William Blair & Company, L.L.C. is a Chicago-based investment firm offering investment banking, asset management, equity research, institutional and private brokerage, and private capital to individual, institutional, and issuing clients. Since 1935, we have been committed to helping clients achieve their financial objectives. As an independent, employee-owned firm, our philosophy is to serve our clients' interests first and foremost. We place a high value on the enduring nature of our client relationships, the quality of our products and services, and the continuity and integrity of our people. William Blair & Company has offices in Chicago, Hartford, London, San Francisco, Tokyo, Vaduz, and Zurich.

Poalim Capital Markets is the investment banking arm of Bank Hapoalim. Since its establishment in 1990, it has played a major role in shaping the Israeli capital market and has led many of the country’s largest public offerings, private placements, mergers and acquisitions, private equity funds management, and other capital markets activities. Poalim’s services are offered by a highly experienced team with an unswerving commitment to delivering quality solutions and tangible results. Poalim Capital Markets provides long-term client support through its tracking of market trends and its extensive roster of local and international distribution and investment relationships. Clients of Poalim Capital Markets enjoy access to the resources and complementary products of Bank Hapoalim, Israel’s largest banking group, while benefiting from the independent management, dynamism, and entrepreneurial culture that characterize this unique member of the Poalim group.

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