Worldline governance evolution

Paris, La Défense — 21 / 03 / 2024

Paris La Défense, 21 March 2024 – Worldline [Euronext : WLN], a global leader in payment services, today announces an evolution of its governance and the cooptation of Wilfried Verstraete as independent director ahead of its anticipated future election as Chairman of the Board of directors.

Businesspeople walking on stairs

New Chairman of the Board of directors

Worldline’s Board of directors met on March 20th, 2024, and upon recommendation of the Nomination Committee, decided to coopt Wilfried Verstraete as independent director, replacing Bernard Bourigeaud. Wilfried Verstraete will be proposed for election by the Board as Chairman of the Board of directors following the company General meeting on June 13th, 2024.

Wilfried Verstraete today joins the Strategy and Investment committee as well as the Nomination committee and will immediately be involved in the Company’s strategic priorities, as well as in the expected Board of directors evolution.

The nomination of Wilfried Verstraete marks a new chapter in Worldline’s development and will allow the Company to successfully enter this new transformation phase. It is consistent with the Board’s willingness to elect a seasoned, international executive, with a proven track record of deep transformation in complex industries within the financial sector. Whilst leading Euler Hermes for c. twelve years, Wilfried Verstraete managed to deeply transform the Group from a traditional trade credit insurer into a leading data-focused fintech providing cutting-edge digital solutions to its clients.

In order to facilitate a smooth transition, and in line with governance best practices, the Board of directors has asked Mr. Georges Pauget, interim Chairman of the Board of directors since December 14th, 2023, to continue in its current role until the election of Wilfried Verstraete as Chairman.

Further reduction in the size of the Board of directors

The Board of directors is committed to continue the process of reducing the number of its members initiated in 2022, and confirms its willingness for significant renewal as it embarks into a new phase of its strategic journey. It has therefore been decided that, following its next General meeting, the Board composition would be reduced from 15 to 12 Board members - plus two employee directors, whose designation follows a dedicated procedure.

As previously announced and whilst preserving a balanced representation of shareholders and strategic partners, the Board will continue with its reduction process whilst maintaining international profiles with a diverse skillset. Some existing Board members will therefore be replaced by new independent directors whose recruitment is currently in-progress, and expected to be finalized by end of April, 2024.

Finally, the Board of directors decided that amongst these 12 Board members, one non-independent Board member will be designated by Crédit Agricole. This decision takes into account Crédit Agricole’s significant shareholding, as well as its strategic and long-term partnership with the Company through the creation of a joint venture for digital payment services for merchants in France announced on March 20th, 2024.

The Board of directors will provide further details on its renewed board composition once it has been fully finalized, by the end of April 2024.

Georges Pauget, Chairman of Worldline’s Board of directors, declared: “On behalf of the Board, I am glad to welcome Wilfried Verstraete who has all the professional and personal qualities required to accompany the transformation of the group and to prepare with him this transition. As Chairman of the Board, he will bring a wealth of expertise working in complex and evolving industries, and will form with our Chief Executive Officer a complementary and efficient team to execute this new phase of Worldline’s strategic journey.”

Wilfried Verstraete, declared: “I am honored to join Worldline’s Board of directors with the perspective of assuming its Chairmanship, and I thank the Board members and its Chairman Georges Pauget for their trust. Worldline is one of the leading global actors of an essential sector offering innovation, technology and payment services to merchants and financial institutions, and I am thankful for being able to contribute to its long-term development. I will be engaged, alongside the management team in this new transformation phase, with a focus on ensuring governance quality and well functioning in the best interest of the Company and its stakeholders. I am looking forward to joining the Strategy and Investment Committee as well as the Nomination committee and start contributing to the Company’s strategic priorities and its expected Board of directors evolution.”

Gilles Grapinet, Board member and CEO of Worldline, declared: “I welcome the decision of the Board to propose the nomination of Wilfried Verstraete as future Chairman of Worldline’s Board of directors, and I look forward to our collaboration serving the Company. His international experience and knowledge of the financial industry will be key assets for Worldline as we embark into a new phase of our strategic journey following 10 years of development which cemented our position as a recognized European payment leader.”


About Worldline

Worldline [Euronext: WLN] helps businesses of all shapes and sizes to accelerate their growth journey – quickly, simply, and securely. With advanced payments technology, local expertise and solutions customised for hundreds of markets and industries, Worldline powers the growth of over one million businesses around the world. Worldline generated a 4.6 billion euros revenue in 2023.

Worldline’s corporate purpose (“raison d’être”) is to design and operate leading digital payment and transactional solutions that enable sustainable economic growth and reinforce trust and security in our societies. Worldline makes them environmentally friendly, widely accessible, and supports social transformation.


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