First Coverage Announces 2007 ‘Top Performer Awards’

Toronto and Boston - 3 March 2008

First Coverage Inc., a leading provider of financial information management tools, announced today the winners of its ‘2007 Top Performer Awards’ recognizing the best institutional salespeople and firms in North America. Sterne Agee, a century-old brokerage firm headquartered in Birmingham, Ala., outperformed over 250 other North American firms, earning the broker-dealer the ‘2007 Best Firm’ award. Sterne Agee finished just ahead of Blackmont Capital (Toronto) and JP Morgan (New York). Amongst individual salespeople, James J. ‘Jim’ Sanderson from Farmhouse Equity Research, LLC in Newport, R.I. took the top honor.

“Based solely on the performance of ideas submitted to their buy-side clients, our annual ‘Top Performer’ Awards are the only truly objective rankings of the value being generated by sell-side institutions available in the market today,” said Randy Cass, CEO of First Coverage, Inc. “The mix of winners this year from both large and small shops, from well-known and niche firms clearly shows that valuable information today could be coming from anyone, anywhere and buy-side firms with tools allowing them to aggregate and organize that information are at a clear advantage. We’re extremely excited for our winners and congratulate them all.”

The First Coverage rankings were derived from the more than 25,000 different sell-side actionable trade ideas communicated by nearly 1,000 salespeople at more than 250 firms via First Coverage in 2007. First Coverage’s industry-leading platform is a web-based software application that simplifies the way the buy-side captures, organizes and evaluates all types of information coming from their sell-side coverage.

“At Sterne Agee, we view our clients as partners and focus every day on providing them with quality research to help them outperform their benchmarks,” said Steve Pokorny, Director of Institutional Sales at Sterne Agee. “To be recognized by First Coverage in this way is a wonderful testament to our core strengths. We offer our clients all the advantages of a full service firm combined with the flexibility and personal attention only a firm of our size can provide.”

Within the individual salesperson category, Jim Sanderson from Farmhouse Equity Research in Newport, R.I. ranked #1 with an average return of 33.4% on all ideas sent to his clients through First Coverage.

“It is a wonderful honor to be recognized by First Coverage,” said Jim Sanderson, COO and Managing Partner at Farmhouse Equity Research. “Our methods reflect the best practices used by many of our buy-side clients who work at leading hedge fund and mutual fund companies in the U.S. Our founder, J.P. Mark, and I approach our jobs as if we were buy-side managers, using the data gathered by our team to target investment ideas that outperform the market. I am grateful to First Coverage for creating a platform that allows us to reach our clients, break through the ‘noise’ and demonstrate through our results the value that Farmhouse Equity Research can offer investment managers globally.”

2007 FIRST COVERAGE TOP PERFORMER AWARD WINNERS

Top 10 North American Firms

1. Sterne Agee
2. Blackmont Capital
3. JP Morgan
4. RBC
5. Friedman Billings Ramsey
6. Stifel Nicolaus
7. Cormark Securities
8. Lehman
9. Morgan Stanley
10. Raymond James

Top 10 Individual Performers

1. James J. Sanderson – Farmhouse Equity Research
2. Christopher Laudani – Short Ideas
3. Tim Sorensen – Macquarie Capital Markets Canada
4. Emily Won – CIBC
5. Jared Demark – Lehman
6. Frank Wooten – CJS Securities
7. Emily Faville – JP Morgan
8. Ravi Sadarangani – Sterne Agee
9. Mike McGuin – Blackmont Capital
10. Christine Wong – RBC

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