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Stanford to invest in Israeli market

Houston, TX (August 27, 2006) - Stanford Financial Group has announced it has committed to invest $5mm in Catalyst II Fund, a late stage Israeli private equity fund and successor to Catalyst I Fund, a top-performing vintage 2000 venture capital fund focused on the Israeli high-technology industry. Stanford is the lead investor of the fundís first closing. Stanford is joining the team of European investors on this late-stage private equity fund, which targets mainly the technology sector. Catalyst II Fund, which has finalized its first closing, is expected to raise $100mm in total.

The fund will focus on investing in maturing Israeli and Israeli-related companies looking to expand internationally and increase exposure throughout Europe and the U.S. Its goal is to achieve a diversified portfolio of information technology, wireless communications, semiconductor companies and biotechnology. Investment targets are companies with technologies that address a large or rapidly growing market and have a proven track record of sales.

The investment represents Stanfordís first foray into the Israeli investment market, a hotbed for innovative technology development. Stanford, a global wealth management firm with clients in 102 countries, has offered its private banking services in Israel for approximately two years.

According to Tal Kimmel, Vice President of Merchant Banking for Stanford, the investment with Catalyst provides Stanford with a strategic gateway through which the company can achieve its expansion goals in the region. We see this as the first step in our long-term plans to expand our presence in Israel. We believe the investment opportunities there are significant, and weíre eager to demonstrate our confidence in the economy and the regionís business climate with an ongoing commitment of resources. We have high expectations with our investment in the Catalyst II Fund, and I have no doubt that our expectations will be exceeded, he said.

We are proud to have Stanford Financial Group as a prime and first U.S. investor in our fund, said Edouard Cukierman, CEO and General Partner of Catalyst Fund II. This alliance holds many possibilities for further cooperation, and I am confident that it will benefit us and our portfolio companies.

About Stanford
The Stanford Financial Group of Companies is a global network of privately held, wholly owned financial service companies providing a wide range of coordinated wealth management and investment advisory services, including trust administration, international private banking, investment banking, institutional investment services, tangible asset management, equity and policy research, commercial banking and insurance. The Stanford network employs approximately 3,000 professionals who serve clients in 102 countries in North and South America, the Caribbean and Europe. Securities products and services offered through Stanford Group Company, member NASD/SIPC. More information on the company can be found at and

About Catalyst Funds
Catalyst Funds are Israeli-based private equity funds investing in maturing Israeli companies that are in pre-IPO, expansion and turnaround phases. Catalyst aims to fill the financing void of under-financed bridge or mezzanine rounds and provides the necessary capital for its portfolio companies to further expand development, increase production and expand marketing efforts. Catalyst I is an Israeli venture capital fund and was top performer among all Vintage 2000 Israeli VC funds with six exits out of 11 portfolio companies. The fund invested strictly in technological companies and managed a diversified portfolio, including companies from the telecommunication, information technologies, enterprise software, medical devices and biomedical/pharmaceutical.

Catalyst II, managed by the same team as Catalyst I, was launched in Q2/06 and has completed its initial closing. The fund invests

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