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BMO Capital Markets Expands U.S. Real Estate Investment Banking Team With Key New Hires

- BMO expands breadth and depth of U.S. real estate practice with addition of five new professionals to the investment & corporate banking team

- Twenty-five year real estate industry veteran, Mark Decker, joins as Managing Director and Group Head

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS--(Marketwire - Sept. 13, 2011) - BMO Capital Markets, the investment & corporate banking arm of BMO Financial Group (NYSE:BMO)(TSX:BMO), today announced that it is expanding its U.S. real estate investment banking practice with the addition of Mark Decker as Managing Director and Group Head, who will be based in Chicago, and Mark Decker Jr. as Managing Director, based in Washington, D.C. Also joining the Washington office are David Raff, Vice President, as well as two junior bankers.

"BMO has a long history of providing investment and corporate banking services to the Real Estate sector. At the same time, the Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) industry is a very active part of the equity new issue market and a meaningful user of all of our products," said Perry Hoffmeister, Head of U.S. Investment & Corporate Banking, BMO Capital Markets. "We are delighted that we've been able to attract such an experienced team to expand our real estate practice in order to bring even more focus to this important sector."

Mr. Decker Sr., who will report to Mr. Hoffmeister, will be responsible for integrating the new hires with BMO's existing Chicago-based U.S. Real Estate investment & corporate banking teams. The U.S. team is complemented by BMO's substantial Canadian-based real estate practice, positioning the firm to also serve the increasing North American flows associated with the sector.

"The mid-cap real estate sector is especially vibrant and plays an important role in the overall U.S. economy," added Mr. Hoffmeister. "BMO Capital Markets is especially suited to bringing our universal banking products to these companies. By expanding our team we've added meaningful experience, depth, scale and new relationships that strengthen our ability to serve our clients."

Mr. Decker Sr. brings more than 25 years of experience in the real estate sector, including thirteen years as an investment banker and twelve years as President of the National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts (NAREIT), the industry's national trade association. He joins BMO from Morgan Keegan, where he was co-Head of Real Estate Investment Banking. Prior to that, Mr. Decker Sr. spent seven years as Managing Director and Group Head, Real Estate Investment Banking at Robert W. Baird and Company. Mark holds a law degree from George Mason University School of Law and a Bachelor of Science from Kent State University. He is a past recipient of the prestigious NAREIT Industry Achievement Award.

Mr. Decker Jr. brings more than a decade of experience in real estate corporate finance. He also worked at Morgan Keegan and co-founded the Real Estate investment banking group at Baird in 2004, where he focused on public and private capital raising as well as advisory mandates. He is a graduate of the College of William & Mary. Mr. Decker Jr. will be based in Washington, D.C., a new office for BMO Capital Markets.

The new U.S. team joins just in time for the BMO Capital Markets North American Real Estate Conference, which takes place in Chicago on September 21st and 22nd. Senior management from almost sixty companies from both the United States and Canada are participating in this event, which has been held annually since 2006.

About BMO Capital Markets

BMO Capital Markets is a leading, full-service North American financial services provider, with nearly 2,200 employees operating in 15 North American offices and 27 worldwide, offering corporate, institutional and government clients access to a complete range of investment and corporate banking products and services. BMO Capital Markets is a member of BMO Financial Group (NYSE:BMO)(TSX:BMO), one of the largest diversified financial services providers in North America with US$499 billion total assets and more than 47,000 employees as at July 31, 2011.

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