Gallagher today announces the appointment of two new managing directors in the insurance broker’s Exeter and Torquay offices.
Devon Appointments

Cheryl Phillips has been appointed Managing Director for Gallagher’s Exeter office. In her new role, Cheryl will be responsible for heading up Gallagher’s 50-strong team, which looks after insurance and risk management for businesses of all sizes across the region, from SMEs through to large corporate organisations, as well as operating a dedicated regional claims hub.

Gallagher’s Exeter office has been based at Milford House on Pynes Hill since 2020, when the broker’s three separate Exeter offices were brought together under one roof, creating a new, unified workspace.

Cheryl has over 20 years’ insurance experience and joined Gallagher in 2018, as Regional Marketing Director for the South West and Real Estate. Prior to this, she was Sales and Marketing Director at Pavey Group, before the acquisition of the firm by Gallagher, and was previously Business Development Manager at Aviva.

Melanie Birchell has been appointed Managing Director for Gallagher’s Torquay branch. Based on Orchard Way, the broker’s 25-strong team partners with a range of personal and business customers – specialising in insurance for high net worth individuals and their homes, estates and possessions, SMEs, as well as serving clients in the leisure and tourism sector.

With over 30 years’ insurance experience, Melanie joined Gallagher’s Torquay office in 2018, where she led the Torquay office’s high net worth, leisure and tourism specialisms, having previously been a Director at Pavey Group.

Graham Brown has been appointed Chairman of Exeter and Torquay, having previously been Managing Director of Pavey Group prior to the firm becoming part of Gallagher.

Commenting on her appointment, Cheryl said: “Exeter and the wider Devon region are home to a vibrant and diverse business community, with manufacturing, construction, professional services, retail and agriculture counting among thriving local sectors.

“I’m proud to be leading an office which has such a well-established presence in the region, and look forward to working with the Exeter team to review our current offering to clients and identify new opportunities, as we continue to build on our existing success locally.”

Melanie added: “The past year has brought a whole host of challenges for individuals and businesses in the Devon and wider South West region – with the leisure and tourism and leisure industries – two of our key offices specialisms in Torquay – counting among the hardest hit sectors. As we emerge out of lockdown, and operations can resume once again for these businesses, it’s more important than ever that we’re on hand to support our clients with risk management and insurance solutions.

“I’m delighted to be taking the helm of Gallagher’s Torquay office, and look forward to working with the team to help our valued clients understand, identify and manage the risks they face as we navigate the ‘new normal’.”

Patrick O’Connell, Regional Director for the South West, added: “It’s fantastic to bring two highly-experienced and talented colleagues on board our leadership team in the South West. With a demonstrated track of success within the business, and in-depth knowledge of the local insurance market, having both built their careers in Devon, Cheryl and Melanie will make excellent leaders for our Exeter and Torquay offices as we continue to invest in our regional presence.

“Ensuring that we nurture and promote the talent within our business is a vital part of our long-term growth strategy, and it’s testament to the quality of talent available within Gallagher that we have been able to make this pair of leadership appointments from within our existing team.”