More Merger Talk Among Big Five

Joseph Berardino, Andersen CEO, has indicated that the firm plans to consider the option of a merger at a partners meeting scheduled for later this year.

"We need to take an honest to God look at what a merger does to us, for us, or against us," said Mr. Berardino. "There is no great urgency, no great concern - rather it's something we need to talk about."

Andersen, the smallest of the Big Five, is expected to show a decline in revenue growth this year, but has no immediate plans for laying off staff. Instead, the firm plans to continue recruiting and expects to increase its workforce by five to ten percent by the end of the firms financial year.

While the partners will discuss a potential merger, Mr. Berardino stressed the opinion that the firm can manage well without any consolidation.

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