W. Robert Gold and Walter W. Nielsen join FOCUS’ Chicago Office as Managing Directors

Washington, DC (March 28, 2008)FOCUS LLC, a national middle market investment banking firm providing merger, acquisition, divestiture and corporate finance services, announces that Robert Gold and Walter Nielsen have joined the Chicago office as Managing Directors.

Gold was trained as an attorney and has nearly 15 years of experience in structuring and executing transactions on his own behalf and on behalf of his clients. His legal practice was primarily focused on tax, corporate and securities matters with a particular concentration on structuring businesses and transactions utilizing partnerships and other flow-through entities. Gold’s legal practice involved providing tax and corporate advice; particularly ownership-transition planning and execution.

While Gold’s clients included companies of various sizes, he focused his practice on family-held and middle-market enterprises. His clients were primarily concentrated in real estate development, manufacturing and intellectual property and were at various stages of their life-cycles – from start-ups in nascent industries to mature companies in established markets.

Prior to founding his own practice, Gold served as director of legal affairs for Ocean Tomo, LLC, an intellectual property merchant banc, where he was responsible for all legal issues facing the company including regulatory, real estate and employment matters. Previously, Gold practiced law with Sachnoff & Weaver (now Reed Smith) as a partner in the tax group. He also worked at Schiff, Hardin & Waite and Shefsky & Froelich.

Nielsen has considerable transaction and direct operating experience with all types of real estate assets. He formed and has directed Midwest Property Advisors, LLC for nearly 20 years, providing integrated consulting, development, equity and debt financing, legal, and brokerage services to clients owning investment-grade real estate assets. Nielsen handles complete IRS Section 1031 like-kind exchange transactions from the sale negotiations through closing the purchase of qualifying replacement properties.

Previously, as president and chief operating officer of Financial Investment Advisors, Inc., Nielsen was responsible for managing multi-billion dollar portfolios held by large state pension plans. As senior vice president of The Balcor Company, a division of Shearson-Lehman Bros., Nielsen oversaw the national pre-acquisition underwriting function, construction group, re-financings, and the fund valuations liaison with the national investment services and the brokerage industry for all public and private limited partnerships.

Prior to that, Nielsen was vice president and general counsel at the holding company for Inland Steel Company’s real estate group where he was responsible for numerous transactions and operating management functions as he transitioned from the inside counsel role to general management. Nielsen was also an attorney with the Chicago law firm McBride, Baker, Wienke & Schlosser where he practiced in the areas of civil litigation, real estate, and general business transactions.

Following active service as an officer in the US Navy, Nielsen began his business career at the Harris Bank in Chicago where he headed the group that set up the marketing and operating programs for the introduction of all correspondent bank charge cards systems in Illinois, Indiana, and Michigan (now Master Card). Nielsen is a practicing attorney and is a graduate of Northwestern University School of Law and the University of Chicago.

About FOCUS LLC

FOCUS LLC provides a range of middle market investment banking services with an emphasis on mergers, acquisitions, divestitures and corporate finance. FOCUS is headquartered in Washington, D.C. with regional offices in Atlanta, Chicago and San Francisco. FOCUS specializes in business units with transactions or revenues in the $5-300 million range, serving entrepreneurs, corporate owners and various types of investors across a broad range of industries, throughout the U.S. and worldwide. FOCUS bankers are seasoned operating and financial executives with extensive transaction experience. Securities transactions conducted by Wm. H. Murphy & Co., Inc. registered Broker Dealer member FINRA/SIPC. For more information on FOCUS, visit www.focusbankers.com.