Bedford responds to news of Deloitte Real Estate departures

Jessica Middleton-Pugh

After this week’s announcements of five departures from the Manchester office, Simon Bedford, partner and head of Deloitte Real Estate in the North West, has said the consultancy is still committed to providing a full spectrum of services across the property market, and is “recruiting significantly into the business”.

GVA revealed on Wednesday that it had hired partner Barry Crichton, director Will Nightingale, assistant director Nick Wisken, and surveyor Jen Howard, to set up a project consultancy team. The next day, partner David Litherland was named as a new director at Rider Levett Bucknall.

All were part of Deloitte Real Estate’s capital projects advisory team, which advises on construction projects.

Speaking to Place North West, Bedford said that Deloitte was “reshaping that part of the business”.

“Capital projects has not been doing as well as we’d like it to. We’re definitely not stopping servicing that part of the market, but we are going to change how we do it.”

According to Bedford, the team will now be led by Clare Handby, who was hired last year from EY. When asked if the company would be replacing the staff lost, Bedford said there was “an intention to recruit”.

Deloitte Real Estate is made up of five divisions; development, valuation, capital projects planning, real estate consulting and planning support. These teams total 40 staff in Manchester. Half of those are in the planning team.

While Bedford said he “didn’t want to talk about specific numbers”, he said “we’re recruiting significantly into the business overall.”

“There were six hires last year, we’ve already agreed four graduate contracts to start in September, and will be announcing senior appointments soon. We are also out in the market looking for more.”

Bedford said that a large body of work for the consultancy was looking at projects outside of Manchester.

“Our business in Manchester does more out of the city than in it, we are an exporter of people. I expect will we do even more out of Manchester this year.”

Bedford works as part of the Cities Advisory team, which includes former Manchester City Council chief executive Sir Howard Bernstein, who joined after he retired from the council last April.

“Cities Advisory operates across 10 cities in the UK, all serviced out of Manchester, and is now moving into Europe. We are hiring into Cities Advisory, which is currently a team of eight but looking to grow.

“All that said, we continue to work very hard to do good things in Manchester.”

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