CB Richard Ellis Group Inc. is a commercial-brokerage giant based in Los Angeles. Like a real-estate supermarket, CB offers services from capital-markets and investment management to property appraisal and research.
CB diversified with its purchase of property manager Trammell Crow several years ago, a move that's expected to help the business through the downturn, but it also saddled the company with a heavy debt burden. Distressed property sales may turn out to be one plus for CB: It has a contract with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. to sell properties taken over by the agency.
CB recently has been shedding jobs, mostly through layoffs and attrition in areas that provide services for the firm's brokers, such as market researchers, accountants and administrative staff. It also cut broker commissions and reduced expenses such as travel, marketing, entertainment and employee incentive events.