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Harris Nesbitt expands Equity Research department with hiring of Financial Institutions Analyst Team

Harris Nesbitt expands Equity Research department with hiring of Financial Institutions Analyst Team

NEW YORK, February 17, 2005 - Harris Nesbitt, the U.S. investment and corporate banking arm of BMO Financial Group (NYSE: BMO), announced today the hiring of a team of equity research analysts to cover Financial Institutions.

Joining the firm are analysts Lana Chan, Peter Winter, David Chiaverini and research associate Randolf Saint-Leger. All four are based in New York and the team will cover regional banks and specialty finance companies.

The expansion into Financial Institutions by Harris Nesbitt Equity Research represents a continued broadening of its coverage universe. "The financial services sector represents a significant co mponent of the market and, we believe, an important opportunity for our institutional clients," said Jack Blackstock, Director of Research, Harris Nesbitt. "Lana, Peter and David have significant experience and their success working as a team will give our clients the immediate benefit of their shared and coordinated insights," he added.

Ms. Chan and Mr. Winter have worked together for the past seven years, first at CIBC World Markets and more recently at Advest, Inc., a subsidiary of AXA Financial, where they were Directors and Senior Analysts. While at CIBC, Ms. Chan was part of a research team recognized by Institutional Investor as runners-up for coverage of regional banks from 1994 to 1996. Ms. Chan earned a Bachelor of Science from New York University's Stern School of Business.

Mr. Winter was ranked fifth out of 72 analysts by the Wall Street Journal in its 2001 "Best on the Street Analysts Survey" for earnings accuracy among analysts covering banks and savings and loans. Prior experience includes equity research positions at Natwest Markets and PaineWebber, Inc. Mr. Winter earned a Bachelor of Science from Syracuse University.

Mr. Chiaverini covered banks and specialty finance for Advest. Previously, he had been a Research Associate at CIBC World Markets. Prior to that, Mr. Chiaverini was an Investment Banking Analyst at U.S. Bancorp Piper Jaffray, focusing on the Financial Technology sector. Mr. Chiaverini earned a Bachelor of Science from Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.

In addition to Financial Services, Harris Nesbitt Equity Research covers more than 235 companies in sectors that include Business Services, Consumer & Leisure, Food & Agribusiness, Healthcare, Media & Entertainment and Technology & Telecommunications. A complete list of the firm's equity analyst team and the coverage universe can be viewed at:

About Harris Nesbitt

Harris Nesbitt is an investment and corporate bank offering clients access to a full range of products and services including investment and corporate banking, treasury services, market risk management, institutional investing and research. Harris Nesbitt is part of Harris, an integrated financial services organization providing more than 1.5 million personal, business, corporate and institutional clients with banking, lending, investing and financial management solutions. Harris Nesbitt is a member of BMO Financial Group (NYSE, TSX: BMO). For more information, please visit