* Dumazy has international, financial, digital expertise
* Edenred says has strong fundamentals, solid financial structure
* CFO to leave before end of 2015 (Adds comments from interim CEO, shares)
By Dominique Vidalon
PARIS, Sept 11 (Reuters) - French voucher and prepaid card provider Edenred has picked Bertrand Dumazy, head of decorative paints company Cromology, as its new chairman and chief executive to help drive growth that has faltered on the firm’s exposure to Brazil.
Dumazy’s international profile, his knowledge of the digital world and financial expertise will be key assets, Edenred acting Chairman and CEO Nadra Moussalem told Reuters.
Dumazy, who will take up his position in late October, replaces former Chairman and CEO Jacques Stern, who left the company on July 31 to take over as head of Switzerland-based tax-free shopping business Global Blue..
The 44-year-old joins the owner of the Ticket Restaurant brand as concerns mount over growing risks in Brazil, where Edenred makes about 50 percent of its operating profit.
It exposure to Brazil, where political and economic turmoil has shaken investor confidence, and the surprise announcement of Stern’s denature on May 18, have pushed its shares down nearly 30 percent. They were down 3 percent on Friday.
Edenred, with about 6,000 employees and revenue of 1 billion euros last year, has a market value of 3.9 billion euros ($4.39 billion) and competes with caterers Sodexo and Compass , as well as credit card networks MasterCard and Visa.
Moussalem, who is also executive director of shareholder Colony Capital, said Edenred’s fundamentals were strong and its financial situation solid.
“Edenred is a group that is doing well despite recent stock volatility. The issue is not to re-invent Edenred but to continue a successful story,” he told Reuters.
Dumazy, who has an MBA from Harvard Business School, began his career at consulting company Bain & Co in Paris and later in Los Angeles. He then worked as investment director of BC Partners before founding Constructeo, an online platform dedicated to project management for the construction industry.
He has headed several companies including mail handling and digital solutions group Neopost and was until now CEO of Cromology.
Edenred sells prepaid meal vouchers that employers offer to workers, but its development of products such as fuel cards aims to tap a sector that is growing faster than other employee benefits as companies seek to control business expenses more effectively. The company is also accelerating its shift from paper-based vouchers to digital cards to cut costs.
Chief Financial Officer Loic Jenouvrier, who had been viewed by some analysts as a possible successor to Stern, will leave the group before the end of 2015 after seven years with Edenred.
$1 = 0.8876 euros Reporting by Dominique Vidalon; Editing by Mark Potter and Susan Thomas