Menlo Park, Calif. - The employment outlook in accounting and finance is expected to stabilize in the first quarter of 2010, according to a recent survey, although the hiring environment remains challenging.

Staffing company Robert Half International found that a net 3 percent of 1,400 chief financial officers surveyed plan to reduce their accounting and finance personnel in the first quarter, but this represents an improvement from the net 6 percent in the previous quarter. Most executives - 84 percent - expect no changes in staffing.

Six percent of executives plan to increase hiring in the first quarter, and 9 percent foresee personnel reductions. Compared to the fourth-quarter projections, the number that anticipated adding staff rose, while the number projecting cutbacks declined.


Baltimore - Gorfine, Schiller & Gardyn has merged in Bernard B. Cohen & Co., expanding the firm's real estate practice in the Baltimore area.

GSG, based in Owings Mills and Hagerstown, Md., will have over 85 employees with the merger of Baltimore-based BBC. Four BBC employees moved into GSG's offices when the merger took effect December 1. Two BBC principals were among those joining the staff: Merton E. Cohen as an officer, and Neil Z. Insel as a senior manager.

The combined firms are expected to have in excess of $10 million in revenue.

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