Long & Foster Has Company

In $1 Billion Sales Club

The Long & Foster Bethesda Gateway real estate office, it turns out, was part of an exclusive national club when it came to selling $1 billion in residential real estate last year.

Though Fairfax-based Long & Foster Real Estate Inc. had thought its Bethesda Gateway office might be the only one to reach the $1 billion milestone, five other offices nationally sold at least $1 billion in real estate in 2002, according to research from the consulting firm Real Trends.

The top offices, in order of sales, are:

* $1.3 billion, Corcoran Real Estate, New York, East Side office

* $1.3 billion, Alain Pinel Real Estate, Los Gatos, Calif., Silicon Valley office

* $1.27 billion, Coldwell Banker/NRT, Beverly Hills, Calif.

* $1.2 billion, Coldwell Banker Bain, Bellevue, Wash.

* $1.1 billion, Long & Foster Bethesda Gateway, downtown Bethesda

* $1.05 billion, Alain Pinel Real Estate, Saratoga, Calif., Silicon Valley office

Real Trends editor Steve Murray said he had thought other offices might have topped $1 billion. "We sent out e-mails twice, to 4,800 firms, national associations and leaders in real estate," asking whether they knew of any other office that might break $1 billion, he said. "No one got back to say that we were wrong."

Former Andersen Partner

Moves to Marriott

Carl T. Berquist, 51, spent 28 years at the accounting firm Arthur Andersen LLC and rose to become its top managing partner at its office in Vienna. Before the firm collapsed in the Enron Corp. debacle, one of Berquist's biggest audit clients was Marriott International Inc., the Bethesda hotel company.

Marriott must have thought that Berquist, who had several big hotel companies as clients, was too good to get away.

On a conference call with analysts after Marriott announced its fourth-quarter results Feb. 10, Marriott Chief Financial Officer Arne Sorenson introduced Berquist for the first time as Marriott's executive vice president, financial information and enterprise risk management. Berquist started at Marriott in December.

Marriott switched to the audit firm Ernst & Young after dropping Andersen.