A leading software group has appointed a new CEO and agreed a deal for payroll and HR tech firm FMP Global.

Elona Mortimer-Zhika will take over at Slough-based IRIS Software Group on September 1st, succeeding Kevin Dady, who has been promoted to the role of executive chairman.

Mortimer-Zhika joined IRIS in 2016 as chief financial officer and was promoted to chief operating officer in 2018. During her time at IRIS, the business has doubled in size, acquired 12 companies and was sold for £1.3 billion in 2018.

“It’s an honour and privilege to head the business I love and admire, surrounded by a talented executive team and supported by a great leader and mentor in Kev Dady as the executive chairman,” she said.

“This is an exciting time to take the helm of this business; we have been growing strongly and I will continue to execute a solid and well considered strategy to exceed our growth targets.

“I am proud to lead a gifted group of individuals who will ensure we place the customer at the heart of everything we do.”

Meanwhile IRIS Software Group has agreed a deal to acquire FMP Global, which is based in Chichester, West Sussex.

Set to be the largest acquisition by IRIS to date, FMP Global supports more than 1,750 businesses in 135 countries with HR consultancy, outsourced global payroll services and international money transfers.

Dady said of the deal: “As part of our acquisition strategy, we continue to identify opportunities to expand both domestically and internationally where we can apply our expertise in compliance-driven software.

“Bringing FMP into the group is transformative, expanding IRIS’ footprint into the US and other international markets, while also further strengthening our position in the UK payroll and HR sectors.

“Domestically we are seeing an increased demand for fully or partially outsourced payroll management solutions and internationally, we are seeing a growing payroll requirement for businesses of all sizes.

“IRIS’ heritage, combined with its marketing reach, investment in cloud technology and sector expertise will help propel FMP Global to the next phase of its growth.”

Justin Cottrell, CEO of FMP Global, commented: “IRIS shares our vision for the next stage of growth. Its track record for acquisition and integration of businesses into the IRIS family makes it the perfect partner.

“The support for management and its culture complements the next chapter of the FMP story. We are excited about IRIS investing into the business, reinforcing our commitment to service excellence for our clients and partners worldwide.”

The acquisition is expected to close before the end of September 2019.