The former chief executive of Manchester City Council is to join Deloitte’s strategic advisory team for seven days a month.
The appointment will raise eyebrows across the property sector, as Deloitte is seen as the council’s favoured planner for city centre developments, advising on the majority of significant projects. According to research by Place North West, the company was listed as advising on 80% of large-scale planning applications and development frameworks in the city centre.
Deloitte Real Estate advises on Mayfield for U+I, St John’s at the former ITV Granada site for Allied London and Manchester City Council, First Street for Ask Real Estate and Manchester City Council, as well as Manchester Life Development Company, a partnership between the council and Manchester City FC owner Abu Dhabi United Group. Deloitte Real Estate also advises Mulbury, Urban & Civic, Bruntwood, Capital & Centric and Henry Boot at Kampus, Worthington Properties on 125 Deansgate, and more in central Manchester.
Simon Bedford, partner for Deloitte Real Estate in Manchester, said Bernstein’s role at Deloitte will not be focused on real estate or the local area, rather he will work across various sectors and countries advising on the growth of the group, which employs 16,000 people in the UK and 250,000 people globally. Bernstein has previously denied any favouritism towards Deloitte.
He left his position as chief executive of Manchester City Council last Friday, amid speculation as to what his next role would be, but with reassurance that any future appointment would see him “work for the benefit of Manchester”.
At Deloitte, he will specialise in advising on health and social care, government reform and devolution, and regeneration. The position will sit alongside his other confirmed role as honorary professor of politics at the University of Manchester.
Sir Howard Bernstein said in a statement: “Deloitte provides counsel to its clients on sectors that I am deeply passionate about, such as healthcare, local and regional authority development and devolution, and cities economic and infrastructure regeneration. I’m therefore delighted to be able to serve Deloitte’s global network of clients who are driving reform and inclusive growth across the UK, Europe and beyond.”
Richard Bell, managing partner for regional markets at Deloitte, said: “From the regeneration of the city centre, its hosting of the 2002 Commonwealth Games and its central role in regional devolution, Sir Howard has been the driving force and vision behind Manchester’s impressive achievements in recent decades. Sir Howard has a stellar reputation in local government and has shown exceptional leadership that our whole firm and our clients will look forward to learning from.”