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First Albany Corporation Adds Three Proven Industry Veterans to

Equity Capital Markets Group

Business Editors

NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--April 7, 2003--

P. Mark Martini Named Managing Director and Head of New York

Institutional Equities Sales

Mark Palamountain Named Managing Director of Nasdaq Trading

Tom Cullum Named Managing Director of Institutional Equity Sales


First Albany Companies Inc. (Nasdaq:FACT), a leading independent investment banking firm, announced today the appointments of three new executives within its Equity Capital Markets Group: Mark Martini, Managing Director and Head of New York Institutional Equities Sales; Mark Palamountain, Managing Director, Nasdaq Trading; and Tom Cullum, Managing Director, Institutional Equity Sales Trading.

"We are excited by the significant opportunity that exists today to build an equity capital markets group that is a recognized powerhouse in the middle market," said Rob Gales, Managing Director and Head of First Albany's Equity Capital Markets. "As many firms are cutting back or leaving the equity business altogether, we see a unique opportunity to better serve our clients and to cultivate new relationships in areas where the bulge bracket firms are not focusing. All three of these executives bring extensive experience and relationships that will help us execute on this growth strategy."

The following are biographical details on the new hires:

-- P. Mark Martini has been named Managing Director and Head of

New York Institutional Equities Sales Group. Martini joins the

firm from Banc of America Securities where he served in the

same capacity. Prior to that, he served as Managing Director,

Bear Stearns; General Manager of Institutional Sales, First

Call Corporation; Director of Institutional Sales, Financial

News Network; and Account Executive, Middle Markets for Drexel

Burnham Lambert.

Martini began his career at Salomon Brothers on the Foreign

Exchange Trading Desk. He received a JD from the Massachusetts

School of Law and earned a BA from Villanova University.

Martini is based in First Albany's New York City office.

-- Mark Palamountain joins First Albany Corporation as Managing

Director of Nasdaq Trading. Palamountain comes to First Albany

from Thomas Weisel Partners where he was a Senior Trader with

a focus on the software sector. Palamountain began his career

as an OTC Trader with Hambrecht & Quist where he spent four

years, during which Hambrecht & Quist was purchased by Chase

Manhattan Bank and then merged with JP Morgan, forming

JPMorgan Chase.

A licensed holder of a Series 7, 55 and 63, Palamountain

earned a BS in Finance from the University of Colorado. He is

based in First Albany's San Francisco office.

-- Tom Cullum has been named Managing Director of Institutional

Equity Sales Trading. He joins First Albany Corporation from

RBC Capital Markets where he served in the same capacity.

Prior to that, Cullum served as Managing Director and Director

of Institutional Equity Sales Trading, Dain Rauscher Wessels;

Managing Director and Partner, Wessels Arnold & Henderson; and

Vice President and Head of OTC Trading, Bessemer Trust


Cullum began his career as a Sales Trader at J.P. Dunlevy &

Company. He graduated from Fairfield University with a BA in

Economics and attended Fordham University's Graduate Program

in Economics. A licensed holder of a Series 7, 63 and 24,

Cullum is based in First Albany's Minneapolis office.

For the year period from March 2002 to March 2003 First Albany's equity trading volume has grown sixfold and the firm has added 20 professionals in trading to its Equity Capital Markets Group over that same time period.

First Albany

Founded in 1953, First Albany Companies Inc. is a leading institutionally focused independent investment bank and asset management firm. Through its Taxable Fixed-Income, Municipal and Equity Capital Markets Divisions, the firm focuses on serving the growing middle market and major government agencies and public institutions by providing its clients with strategic, research-based, innovative investment opportunities. It offers a diverse range of products and advisory services in the areas of corporate and municipal finance and fixed-income and equity sales and trading. First Albany Asset Management currently has more than $1 billion under management for institutional and high net worth clients. First Albany Technology Ventures, its venture capital fund, has more than $250 million of assets under management, which it uses to invest in early and expansion stage information technology (IT) and new energy technology (ET) companies. First Albany is traded on Nasdaq under the symbol FACT and today has 18 offices in 11 states.

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