There will be no shortage of job offers for Bernstein – sport, events and property development scoring highly on the list of potential future employers in need of the ‘SHB way’.
A role on the board at his beloved Manchester City FC seems a plausible next step. Sources say Abu Dhabi United Group, the sovereign wealth fund that owns the club, is keen to see Bernstein play a greater role in their business interests, perhaps seeking out new investment opportunities around the world. Bernstein is known to work well with New York lawyer and Manchester City advisor Marty Edelman, who is also chairman of the Manchester Life joint venture between the council and the club to develop housing near the ground in east Manchester.
Bernstein was central to the successful delivery of the Manchester Commonwealth Games in 2002 and was a member of the Olympic delivery authority for London 2012. The UK, and Greater Manchester in particular, is putting its hat into the ring for the World EXPO in 2025 and a figurehead role driving the bid could suit him well.
Alongside sport, his other passions include property and there will inevitably be numerous offers from the private sector to get involved in regeneration and to enjoy the financial profits of development more directly and fruitfully than he could as a mere civil servant.
One of the city’s senior architects said “regeneration in general is his buzz, it’s what he’s good at, and he’s a visionary. It would make sense for him to use that skill to help other local authorities, but then again it could be time for him to do something completely different.”
One source who knows Bernstein well said the “idea he is going to stop working altogether is a non-starter and the idea he is going to do one big thing is also a non-starter. He has been at one organisation for 45 years and he will want to pursue a number of interests in a number of different ways” when he leaves the council.
In the words of one developer: “I seriously doubt he’s going to be working on his golf”.