Forterro, a group of companies that deliver enterprise resource planning (ERP) software to small- and medium-sized businesses, today announced the appointment of two new executives to lead the company into a new phase of growth in its core market, Europe.
Dean Forbes, a longtime, U.K.-based software executive who was most recently the president of The Access Group, was named Forterro’s chief executive. Paul Smolinski, the former chief financial officer of HR and payroll software firm CoreHR, was named CFO. The two U.K.-based leaders have been tapped to continue Forterro’s growth strategy in Europe, working with the company’s strategic leadership teams across the group’s primary business units in France, Germany, Poland, Sweden, and Switzerland.
Forbes joins Forterro after an extensive career in executive and senior leadership roles for a number of international software companies. Most recently he led the growth and expansion of CoreHR, a UK HCM software provider, across Europe. CoreHR was acquired by The Access Group, where Forbes subsequently served as president and executive board member. Prior to CoreHR, Forbes was CEO of Paris-headquartered SaaS software company KDS, where he led the successful growth and international expansion of the firm, leading to its acquisition by American Express. Earlier in his career, Forbes held senior leadership roles at Philadelphia HQ’d Primavera Systems and, subsequently, Oracle where he was global vice president for sales and marketing for the PPM Division. Forbes brings this wealth of experience to Forterro and its acquired companies, which include abas Software (Germany); BPSC (Poland); Clip Industrie, Silog and Sylob (France); Jeeves and Infocube (Sweden); and ProConcept (Switzerland). Forterro is backed by global, technology-focused investment firm Battery Ventures.
“I am thrilled to become part of such a strong group of ERP companies, who are all successfully operating in one of the strongest, most steadily growing markets in enterprise software,” Forbes said. “The cornerstone of our ongoing success will be to continue investing in the market leadership positions of local and niche ERP software businesses throughout Europe. I am excited about leading the next stage of the Forterro journey as we look to continue to grow the business aggressively, both organically and through further acquisitions.”
“Bringing in new, Europe-based leadership is part of the natural evolution of Forterro,” said Dave Tabors, a Forterro board member and Battery Ventures private equity partner. “Former CEO Jeff Tognoni, former COO Scott Malia, and the rest of the U.S.-based Forterro leadership team have done an outstanding job of growing the business by evaluating, acquiring, and operating ERP companies. To push Forterro into its next stage of development, however, it is time to cultivate leadership talent in closer proximity to our business unit operations. We are very excited to work with Dean as he prepares Forterro for its next stage of growth.”
“We have spent the last several years working closely with our counterparts in Europe to build sustainable growth strategies and unique operating approaches for each business unit and product market,” added Jeff Tognoni, who is stepping down after leading Forterro and growing revenue more than seven-fold since the initial acquisition of Jeeves Information Systems in 2012. “The strength of our local teams and their businesses lets me know that part of our job is done, and that Forterro is ready for new challenges and continued success under the leadership of Dean and Paul.”
Forterro is a group of companies that deliver ERP software to SMEs in specialized geographical or vertical markets. Backed by the investment of Battery Ventures, Forterro operates business units in Sweden, Switzerland, France, Poland, and Germany, as well as regional office locations and research and development centers around the world. Through its ever-growing ecosystem of IP and capital, Forterro collaborates with local management teams to strengthen the solution offerings and operational performance of its portfolio companies. For more information, visit www.forterro.com.
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Battery partners with exceptional founders and management teams developing category-defining businesses in markets including software and services, enterprise infrastructure, online marketplaces, healthcare IT and industrial technology. Founded in 1983, the firm backs companies at all stages, ranging from seed and early to growth and buyout, and invests globally from six strategic locations: Boston; San Francisco and Menlo Park, Calif.; Herzliya, Israel; London; and New York. Follow the firm on Twitter @BatteryVentures, visit our website at www.battery.com and find a full list of Battery’s portfolio companies here.