Company news  |  October 7, 2003

PALO ALTO, Calif. — October 7, 2003 — Alliant Partners, a leading mergers and acquisitions advisor to technology and life science companies, announced today the launch of its Private Capital Group, providing advisory services for private placement of securities. Jeffrey G. Berry, formerly a Managing Director and Head of the Private Equity Group at Banc of America Securities, will lead the business, which will serve later-stage private and small public technology and life science companies. Alliant's Private Capital Group will complement its Merger and Acquisition Advisory business, offering clients the flexibility of financing or sale, depending on their needs. Headquartered in Palo Alto, Calif., Alliant Partners is the investment-banking subsidiary of Silicon Valley Bancshares (Nasdaq: SIVB), which offers diversified financial services to the technology, life science and premium wine markets.

Alliant also announced that it has hired Joseph M. Siletto and Bill Baker, both formerly with Banc of America Securities' Private Equity Practice.

"Investor interest in private equity is increasing strongly as the markets improve, yet the number of firms focused on smaller transactions has dwindled in recent years, as many have been acquired by financial conglomerates," said James Kochman, CEO of Alliant. "Alliant Partners and Silicon Valley Bank are among the few that have retained their longstanding focus on and expertise in this market. Jeff and the private placement team will provide a strong complement to the other services we offer our clients."

"I am very excited about the opportunity to work with Alliant to serve the part of the market I love, dealing with the exciting growth companies and the opportunities they create," said Berry. "Working closely with the outstanding M&A team that Alliant has dedicated to this sector, I expect the Private Capital Group to be highly successful in meeting a very real market need."

Alliant's Private Capital Group will focus on private placements of $5 million and more for technology and life science companies financed by venture capital, the core client base served by Alliant's traditional M&A Advisory business. The new business will also facilitate private placements in public equity securities (PIPES).

Jeff Berry formerly ran Banc of America Securities' Private Equity Group, working directly on many key technology and life science transactions. During his time in this role, Berry and his team raised more than $2 billion in equity capital in 26 transactions, including 3 repeat clients. Berry also initiated Banc of America Securities' principal investing activity and managed the firm's investment activities from 1999 through 2002. He still enjoys strong relationships with the venture community from his time with the company. Prior to his Private Equity responsibilities, Berry headed the firm's Communications Corporate Finance practice. Berry has more than 18 years of investment banking experience including more than 10 years running and growing businesses.

Berry holds an MBA from the University of Southern California and a BA from Santa Clara University.

Joseph Siletto, formerly Vice President with Banc of America Securities' Private Equity Group, was one of two West Coast officers responsible for the company's work developing equity private placements. With a primary focus on the healthcare industry, Siletto was involved in more than 20 private placement and PIPE transactions totaling over $1 billion during his time with the company. Prior to that, Siletto oversaw operations for Xin De Telecom, a joint venture between Siemens, Deutsche Telecom and China Unicom. In this role, he was involved in all aspects of a $200 million capital deployment, investment monitoring and operational rollout of a four-city GSM network in mainland China. Before joining Xin De Telecom, Siletto managed operations and drove business development for Great American Insurance as head of its $6 million New York territory, which he grew by 30 percent.

Siletto holds an MBA from The Haas School of Business at the University of California at Berkeley and a BA from Duke University. He is proficient in Mandarin Chinese.

Baker was formerly Senior Associate with Banc of America Securities' Private Equity Group, where he was responsible for business development and deal execution with emerging companies in the semiconductor and communications equipment sectors. Prior to that, Baker was a Senior Associate in the Private Capital Markets Group at Robertson Stephens, where he provided counsel and execution on private placement transactions for later-stage clients in the information technology, communications and life science markets. Baker also worked as an Associate in Credit Suisse First Boston's Global Power practice, where he was focused on project finance and M&A. Before becoming an investment banker, Baker worked in the energy industry, developing energy infrastructure projects in Africa for Enron International and managing internal and external affairs relating to environment, health and safety for Triton Energy Corp. Baker holds an MBA in Finance from the Wharton School and a Master of Arts Management and International Studies from the Lauder Institute, both at the University of Pennsylvania. He earned a BA from Brown University and speaks Portuguese, Spanish and French.Alliant is considered one of the top firms nationwide in its market for M&A, and expects to achieve a similar level of success very quickly in private placements. Alliant Partners continues to expand its business as well as its geographic footprint in the face of a contracting marketplace among M&A firms. The company has completed a record number of transactions to date in 2003.

About Alliant Partners
Alliant Partners is a leading investment banking firm providing merger and acquisition and corporate partnering services to middle-market technology companies. The firm also provides complementary services, such as capital restructuring, valuations, and fairness opinions. Silicon Valley Bank acquired Alliant Partners in September 2001. Alliant Partners' expertise spans the technology landscape, with specific practice areas for semiconductors, software and services, hardware and electronic systems, and medical devices and life sciences. Additional information is available at

About Silicon Valley Bancshares
For 20 years, Silicon Valley Bancshares, a financial holding company offering diversified financial services, has provided innovative solutions to help entrepreneurs succeed. The company's principal subsidiary, Silicon Valley Bank, serves emerging growth and mature companies in the technology and life sciences markets, as well as the premium wine industry. Headquartered in Santa Clara, Calif., the company offers its clients financial products and services including commercial, investment, merchant and private banking, as well as value-added services using its knowledge and networks. Merger, acquisition and corporate partnering services are provided through the company's investment banking subsidiary, Alliant Partners. More information on the company can be found at