In the wake of IRIS Software Group’s recent acquisitions and buyout by Hg Capital and ICG, its Chief Finance Officer, Elona Mortimer-Zhika has won Finance Professional of the year, in the prestigious Venus Awards.
Elona was nominated by Rapid and Firefly in recognition of her dedication and tenacity throughout her career. At IRIS, she was instrumental in the recent sale of the business, which was the UK’s largest ever and Europe’s third largest ever private equity led software buyout, representing an enterprise value of £1.3bn.
Elona has an unassuming approach to leadership, as she explains, “I like to lead by example and earn my stripes. I believe that great leaders should be humble. There are always ways to improve and I learn from both my peers and my team. My motto is ‘it’s more important to get it right, than be right’.”
The IRIS CFO grew up in Albania and independently came to the UK when she was just 16 years old on a scholarship programme. Elona balances her career and family, raising two boys aged two and six. In the midst of a highly demanding job, she makes time to enjoy as much as possible with her children, whether it is attending school activities or spending the weekend bargain hunting with them for Thomas the Tank Engine sets at car boot sales.
Elona’s tenacious approach is reflected across IRIS as it continues to be one of the most trusted business-critical software and services providers in the UK today. Its solutions serve over 21,000 accountancy practices, more than 80,000 small and mid-sized businesses, corporates and payroll bureau customers, and 10,000 schools and academies across a wide range of UK industry sectors.
Kevin Dady, CEO of IRIS says, “We all strive to do the right thing, and do it well. The passion across the business to create products and environments that customers and staff love, is at the heart of all we do. Elona’s award is inspiring for us all and testament to her approach throughout her career. We are all very proud of her achievement.”
Having started her career at Arthur Andersen and then Deloitte, Elona’s previous roles include SVP Chief of Staff for Mavenir and VP of Commercial Finance for Xura and Acision.
The Venus Awards were set up in in 2009 by founder Tara Howard in response to the lack of recognition of women and their achievements in business. Now spanning eight regions around the UK, the awards recognise the dedication, effort and skill when juggling business and other commitments.