Our team’s skillset is focused towards C-Suite decision makers who benefit from independent, trusted advisory support. 

We invest in learning about what’s happening in the market so we can be innovative for our clients. We connect our clients to all sorts of ideas, suppliers and organisations without any vested interest. We have honest conversations with our clients whether it costs us work or not.

Our years of experience means we have seen many of the problems businesses have faced and seen how these have been addressed successfully but we never pre-judge the solution and pre-pack it for the client without rigorously examining the specific problem and assessing the feasibility of the solutions. We are unafraid to call in and manage expertise to supplement our team – we do not learn on the job at the clients’ expense.

Our close-knit Director and Associate team work together out of partner offices across the UK and Ireland with the best infrastructure but without the expensive overheads that exist for our big-firm counterparts. Meet our Directors below who work closely with our global network of over 40 trusted Associates plus a number of strategic partners across a range of disciplines and sectors.


Bill Kane

Bill Kane

Chief Executive Officer

Our CEO, Bill Kane, brings over 35 years of Director and Consulting Experience and is enjoying applying his energies to this exciting commercial venture. Bill is partial to a game of golf or two.

• Former CEO of PLC
• Business performance diagnostic
• Business transformation
• Benchmarking and planning
• Operational due diligence

Elliot Gilmour

Elliot Gilmour


Elliot is MD of Merlin’s sister company, Spitfire, and has over 20 years’ commercial experience. He believes people are central to all transformation projects, and is inspired to help effect real change. In addition to joining Bill on the golf course, Elliot enjoys supporting his kids’ passions for playing rugby, football, hockey and gymnastics.

• Lean transformation
• Continuous improvement
• Value stream analysis
• Capital performance

Jenny Powell

Jenny Powell


Jenny has significant experience in procurement and supply chain transformation in public and private sector, and driving added value and improved supply chain performance is her forte. She owns JDP, one of Merlin’s Strategic Partners.

• Procurement transformation
• Supplier Relationship Management
• Supply Chain streamlining
• Benchmarking and cost optimisation

Paul Gilmour

Paul Gilmour


Paul has substantial finance and operations transformation and change experience across a broad range of sectors including many large and listed international businesses. Cycling, running and two young kids keep Paul on his toes!

• Finance transformation
• Business transformation
• Enterprise cost reduction 
• Sourcing and supplier management


Some of our Associates

Yvonne Anderson

Yvonne Anderson

Yvonne is an experienced People and Organisation Development professional, having worked at a senior level across a wide variety of sectors. She has a particular interest in supporting leaders and business owners in developing their leadership skills.

• High-performing teams
• Executive coaching
• People Strategy
• Vision, values and culture

Simone Barnett

Simone Barnett

Simone is MBA qualified with over 20 years of experience from a wide range of sales models, across multiple industry sectors. She works with clients to transform sales & marketing effectiveness, improving performance and ultimately increasing profitability through a customer-centric focus, targeting channel mix, streamlining the sales & marketing organisation structure, or developing the right targets & measurements. Simone has a passion for Wellbeing and is a qualified Yoga instructor.

• Sales and Marketing Strategy
• Customer Relationship Management & Loyalty
• Key Account Planning and Strategy
• Sales & Marketing Leadership

Alan Calder

Alan Calder

Alan’s core expertise is in IT consulting, for large Financial sector, mid-market and SME clients. He has over 20 years’ consulting experience with clients of KPMG and Deloitte and as an independent consultant. Outside of work he likes to keep active with golf, cycling, swimming and walking the dog.

• Programme leadership and turnarounds
• Mergers and acquisitions
• Cost reduction
• Target operating models
• Setting strategy, then progressing implementation
• Supplier commercial and contractual negotiation
• Outsourcing

Jason Chipchase

Jason Chipchase

Jason is hugely experienced in Operational Excellence Programme delivery and Field Force improvement. He specialises in the delivery of performance improvement. In helping clients deliver significant Business Transformation Programmes, he also creates self-sustaining capabilities and cultures. In his spare time Jason runs a micro-brewery.

• Business Diagnostic
• Business Process Re-engineering
• Mobile Work-force Optimisation
• Field Force Efficiency

Ed Clements

Ed Clements

Ed has over 30 years experience of facilitating organisational transformations in Service and Manufacturing. He has supported over 100 organisations in public and private sector. Prior to his current role he worked across Europe for the global consultancy Kaizen® Institute and was also a Lead Practitioner at The Manufacturing Institute. Ed employs lean, agile and flow thinking to support leaders and natural work teams to create their own best improvement systems, behaviours and culture.

• Change and Transformation Delivery
• Value Stream Diagnostic and Analysis
• Supply Chain Design & Optimisation
• Service System Design
• Coaching and Development

Paul Cook

Paul Cook

Paul is a hands-on Business Transformation specialist. He is a certified Master Black Belt and Lean Coach with over 20 years’ experience delivering large-scale improvement programmes for global organisations across multiple sectors. In his spare time Paul can be found in his shed honing his DIY skills.

• Business Transformation
• Project & Programme Management
• Six Sigma MBB and Lean Coach

Nikki Edwards

Nikki Edwards

Nikki has more than 25 years of experience in agency and corporate environments on four continents. She has led global employee communication functions, setting strategy, overseeing multi-national campaigns and providing counsel to senior executives. Travel is her passion, often in pursuit of good food and wine.

• Comms strategy and planning
• Insight-led CEO and leader engagement
• Employee brand engagement, purpose and HR comms
• Comms function audits, measurement and insights
• M&A, change, transformation and crisis comms

Andrew Falconer

Andrew Falconer

Andrew has over 20 years in business advisory and consulting experience, across Public and Private sectors, specifically in designing and managing large change programmes. Golf provides the common link, together with a love of rugby with his two sons.

• Organisational and Programme Risk Management
• Change Management
• Strategic Information Systems Design
• Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery Planning’

Kevin Foster

Kevin Foster

Kevin has over 20 years experience in Local Government Chief Officer and Director roles with a strong track record of developing and delivering successful business support services and transformational business change. He is ACMA and MBA qualified, with specific experience in delivering organisational change and service improvement programmes for business support services. Outside of work Kevin is a keen, but challenged, golfer and enjoys walking around London.

• Financial & Resource Management
• Programme & Change Management
• Integrated Service & Financial Planning
• Corporate Systems Strategies

Mica Giles

Mica Giles

Mica is a qualified CA with over 25 years of experience in delivering complex infrastructure and service projects. Specialising in project assessment, procurement, finance, delivery and diligence, Mica offers end to end expertise for projects in both the public and private sectors.

• Data Analysis
• Project Management
• Procurement
• Financial modelling
• Project Finance
• Transaction Audit

Malcolm Higham

Malcolm Higham

Malcolm has 20 years’ experience as a board Finance Director in SMEs. His wide sector experience and operational approach has seen many successful change projects. He has consulted on managing Covid-19 planning and banking negotiations, and has designed and delivered pricing and project management programs as part of business transformations. He enjoys road cycling or just relaxing family bike rides.

• M&A integration
• Governance and business control
• Project management implementation
• MI and intelligent KPIs
• Pricing & profitability analysis

Giles Hodgson

Giles Hodgson

Giles delivers in challenging situations; financial losses, poor operational performance etc. His 20 years’ experience, academic training, easy-to-work-with style, yet relentless focus on goals, combine to create a positive and powerful approach. When not transforming business performance he enjoys following politics and walking with his family.

• Manufacturing business performance
• Cost reduction
• Target Operating Model design and implementation
• Quality or delivery performance improvement
• Project design and direction
• BSc, MSc, MPhil, and Lean / 6 Sigma Black Belt trained

Ewan Hunter

Ewan Hunter

Ewan has specialised in “people” for over 22 years. He runs HunterSearch Consulting and has worked with public, private and third sector clients in virtually every industry in many parts of the world. He is a former professional snooker player, an experienced non-exec director and is the Commercial Director of the Scottish Handball Association.

• Culture Change & Business Transformation
• People, Commercial & Business Strategy
• Talent Development & Acquisition
• Board, Leadership & Management Development
• Speaker, host & facilitator

Nick Jinks

Nick Jinks

Nick has extensive experience of defining/implementing go-to-market strategies and building high-performing Sales & Marketing teams to drive organic growth. Working with Private Equity, he has successfully acquired and integrated companies and prepared and presented businesses for investment and sale. Nick is also accomplished in leading and closing large-scale, commercial negotiations. He keeps active by walking, cycling, sailing, diving and skiing.

• Sales diagnostic and optimisation
• Market definition and go to market strategies
• Acquisition due diligence integration planning
• Presenting a business for investment/sale
• Complex commercial negotiations

Ross Kirkwood

Ross Kirkwood

Ross is a respected Independent Change and Transformation Director.  An expert in eliciting and understanding complex business requirements to strategise and execute business-critical change and transformation to meet commercial and regulatory obligations.

• Project and Programme Management
• Agile and Waterfall Methodologies
• Operating Model and Roadmap Development
• Change and Transformation Delivery
• Strategy Planning, Consulting and Advice

Ross McEwan

Ross McEwan

Ross is an experienced Data, Finance, Risk and Corporate Transformation consultant spanning roles across the breadth of Financial Services: Banking, Life, Pensions, Investments and long-term savings.
In senior appointments Ross has delivered strategies and solutions meeting significant regulatory and corporate challenges in large international businesses and smaller enterprises. Ross can add considerable value in:

• Corporate Performance Management
• Decision Support / Insight
• Developing Data Management and DPO functions
• Operational Risk Management
• Regulatory Programme delivery

Don Mills

Don Mills

Don has over 19 years of experience in consulting, including ‘big 4’ experience. Prior to that, he spent a number of years in engineering and manufacturing management, then quality management at business area level with the world’s largest electrical engineering company. He specialises in Operational Excellence and Performance Improvement and has wide industry experience including, health, oil and gas, manufacturing, shared services, and finance.

• Lean Six Sigma MBB
• Business Transformation
• Programme and Project Management
• Performance improvement
• Coaching

Brian Mooney

Brian Mooney

Brian operates at Board level on the development and implementation of business growth plans, group business strategy, and digital ventures. He brings senior consulting skills, global experience, and analytical methods to help leadership teams make strategic decisions and translate them into action and results. You’ll usually find Brian at a Park Run on Saturday mornings, aspiring to be Eric Liddell.

• Business Strategy
• Developing Strategic Performance Metrics
• Developing Growth Strategy

Conrad Nevers

Conrad Nevers

Conrad has a background in sustainable change in large and complex organisations. He has led FTSE 100 Finance teams, delivering functional Transformation and managing the end-to-end change journey. He has supported M&As and has experience in process simplification and re-engineering as well as effective stakeholder managment. He is Deputy Chair of a local school and a trustee of his church.

• Finance TOM Design & Deployment
• Business Process Re-Engineering
• Finance System Design, Implementation & Integration
• Business Case Preparation & Benefits Realisation
• Cash Flow Management, Forecasting & Controls

Zoe Newman

Zoe Newman

Zoe is uniquely placed to support any of the people aspects of organisational change, and has worked in close partnership as a trusted advisor and consultant to executive-level business leaders across multiple functions and in a variety of industries. She has a background in HR and consulting, and both client and colleagues comment on her straightforward approach and ability to navigate organisational politics, tackling challenges head on.

• Operating model and organisation design
• Change management
• Workforce transition

Andy O'Brien

Andy O'Brien

Andy is a former Director with Deloitte LLP and has over 25 years’ experience delivering global business performance improvement programmes across many sectors. A specialist and MBB Qualified in the application of Lean and Six Sigma, Andy has specific expertise improving the interface between systems and business processes.

• Large Programme Management
• Business Diagnostic
• Business Transformation
• Lean Supply Chain

Richard Shaw

Richard Shaw

Richard has over 25 years working in Information Technology and Architecture, with a successful track record of delivering transformation/ digital IT services in both blue-chip and public sector organisations. Highly experienced in scoping complex business requirements and creating high-performing digital solutions that drive performance and optimise TCO.

– Solution Design / Enterprise Architecture (TOGAF)
– Integration, Outsourcing and Consulting
– Cloud and Software as a Service
– Requirement Scoping / Analysis
– Target Operating Models & Technology Roadmaps
– Business Casing / Cost Benefit Analysis
– Commercial Understanding

Matthew Smedley

Matthew Smedley

Matthew is in his third decade of specialising in delivering insights and improvements across Business People & Process. He has worked across many sectors, industries and geographies delivering business change and transformation tailored to meet the needs of the organisation and its culture.

• Business Transformation & Culture Change
• Enterprise Architecture
• Business Process & Customer Experience
• Digital Transformation
• M&A integration

Steve Tosh

Steve Tosh

Steve is an accomplished practitioner in procurement and contract & supplier relationship management. Having worked in both the public and private sectors and several industry sectors (Energy, Transport, Construction and Professional Services), he has expertise in managing risk and adding value right across the procurement cycle allied to strong negotiation skills. At the weekends Steve is Secretary of his local football club.

• Procurement & Negotiation
• Contract Performance & Improvement
• Supplier Relationship Management
• Construction Accounting
• Large Programme Management

Tony Waldren

Tony Waldren

Tony is a seasoned practitioner in the procurement and supply chain arena. Having worked in both the public and private sectors and several industry sectors (automotive, electronics, textiles, building products, healthcare, energy), Tony has rich experience to leverage for added value to our clients. When not working with clients he can be found helping his partner grow her successful artisan bakery business.

• Procurement
• Negotiation of complex agreements
• Vendor management
• Supply chain

David Watt

David Watt

David has specialised in organisational governance and has gained significant expertise in this area over many years and across all sectors. This has been developed by studying the subject, and by serving on and advising boards – not just in theory but in good practice.

• Corporate Governance
• Effective board performance
• The role and duties of Directors
• How the board adds value
• Evaluating Board and Director skills and delivery


Strategic Partnerships