Meet the Team

Client Managers

Each client is allocated one of our experienced managers to help with their every needs.

Phil Down

Client Manager

Phil Down

Phil has been a Client Manager with Melrose for over 12 years, liaising with clients and assisting with their financial reporting and analysis needs.

Before his time at Melrose, he trained at Courage which led to a number of accountancy roles focusing on the hospitality and retail sector.

Phil’s key strengths are in building personal relationships with his clients and using his wealth of experience to deliver the best possible service

Esther Cox

Client Manager

Esther Cox

After several years working in finance depts of supermarkets, a power station and a family insurance brokerage, Esther joined Melrose in 1998 as a part time Accounts Assistant. As well as gaining an excellent all round understanding of Vat, Tax, Licensing and Stocktaking within the Hospitality industry, Esther also set up the Payroll dept in the late 90’s, which now looks after over 200 Payroll accounts.

Drawing on Hospitality knowledge gained through her previous 14 years’ worth of client visits, Esther became a Client Manager in 2012. 25 plus years in, and Esther still really enjoys guiding people though their start up in this industry, and onwards to a successful business.

Mark Winchcombe

Client Manager

Mark Winchcombe

Mark trained as an accountant early on, starting his career at the Royal Academy of Music!

After this, he went on to set up and run a multiple pub operation for 15 years the pinnacle of which was to take an old disused council building in the middle of Stroud, Gloucestershire and convert it into a successful pub business which is still thriving.

Mark brings a wealth of both practical & financial experience to single and multiple operations.

Mike Jones

Client Manager

Mike Jones

Mike’s career started in the food service industry as a regional sales manager and since then he has gone from strength to strength as a regional manager In Marston’s and Enterprise, moving over to accountancy and finally working with Melrose.

With over 22 years’ experience Mike is passionate about deciphering industry jargon and going the extra mile for his clients, whether they be experienced operators or new incomers Mike gives honest real-world analysis.

Caroline Wilson

Client Manager

Caroline Wilson

Caroline’s key focus as a client manager is to support and advise her clients on ways to maximise profits, control costs and keep compliant with regulations. Caroline has extensive experience in the hospitality industry over a 28 year span; holding senior management positions in Catering and running her own licensed trade premises.

Caroline builds strong relationships with her clients through her personable and knowledgeable approach. Always willing to go the extra mile to make sure clients are making informed decisions through every stage of their business

Department Managers

Jeff Pennell

Melrose Update Author

Jeff Pennell

Jeff has over 40 years of experience in the hospitality trade. Initially he ran local and then flagship food pubs, before moving on to area management, with a major pubco. He joined Melrose helping with the stocktaking side in 1997, before moving into client management for many years, whilst also taking ownership of a freehold freehouse. More recently he has been heading up and developing the Melrose stocktaking team.

Jeff has a passion for helping people in our trade so it was no surprise that during the dark days of Covid he set up regular email updates, to help clients and contacts through the minefield of changing legislation and grant applications. It’s popularity means it continues today, providing up to date trade information and company news.

Emma_Lewis

Emma Lewis

Head of VAT Department

Emma Lewis

Emma worked within hospitality for 10 years in a range of roles from pouring pints in pubs to running conferences, events, and weddings in large hotels before switching careers to accountancy at Melrose. In her 6 years with us, Emma has risen to become the head of the VAT department and key Management accounts team member and is currently studying for her ACCA.

Emma has a passion for training new recruits the Melrose way and she’s a fantastic support to clients who are new to running a business; offering great advice on how to keep on top of their admin and bookkeeping.

 

Mhairi Vernon

Head of Accounts

Mhairi Vernon

A graduate from Aberdeen University in 1994 with a degree in Accountancy, Mhairi has held high-profile roles with major organizations such as Cable & Wireless and Exxon Mobil. After a well-deserved career break and embracing motherhood with three children, Mhairi found her calling with Melrose in December 2018 and has seamlessly integrated her vast experience to steer the accounts side of the business.

With an extensive background ranging from chartered accountancy to operational reviews, Mhairi brings a wealth of experience to the table, ensuring that Melrose’s clients receive top-tier accountancy services.

Shelley Pentland

Head of Payroll

Shelley Pentland

Shelley began her career in various administrative roles before discovering a passion for accountancy, which led her to pursue formal studies in the field.

In 2016, she moved to Melrose and joined the VAT department, where she quickly progressed to training new team members and taking on management responsibilities. Her dedication and hard work earned her a promotion to VAT Team Leader, followed by a role in the Management Accounts department, all while she continued to study for her AAT qualifications.

In February 2024, Shelley advanced to the position of Payroll Team Leader. She is now relishing the opportunity to expand her skill set and contribute even more to the Melrose team.