Magazine article American Banker

Great Western's CEO Giving Up Management Duties at Yearend

Magazine article American Banker

Great Western's CEO Giving Up Management Duties at Yearend

Article excerpt

James F. Montgomery announced Tuesday that he will step aside from day to-day management of Great Western Financial Corp.

While retaining the title of chairman, Mr. Montgomery will hand the chief executive's reins to John F. Maher, 51, president of Great Western, at yearend.

Mr. Montgomery, 60, chief executive officer of the nation's second largest thrift company since 1979 and chairman since 1981, told the annual shareholders meeting near its headquarters in Chatsworth, Calif., that he will concentrate on lobbying.

Mr. Montgomery, who has been a vocal advocate of regulations favorable to thrifts, said he will devote most of his time at Great Western "to several major national policy issues that are critically important to this company's future."

Analysts said the management shift is unlikely to result in substantial operational or strategic changes at $43.6 billion-asset Great Western, the parent of Great Western Bank.

In a statement, Mr. Montgomery said there should be a "continuation in our basic strategic direction."

Mr. Maher has been president of Great Western Financial since 1986. He and Mr. Montgomery have worked closely since Mr. Montgomery became president and chief operating officer in 1975.

Analysts described Mr. Montgomery as having successfully piloted the institution through the real estate debacle of the late '80s and early '90s. Though it lost money, the company did not go under or go through a recapitalization that hurt stockholders the way other California-based thrifts did. …

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