John F. Maher, a managing director in the Los Angeles office of Shearson Lehman Bros., has been named to the No. 2 job at Great Western Financial in Beverly Hills, succeeding Robert B. Holmes, who recently resigned, it was announced Tuesday.
Maher was elected president and chief operating officer of Great Western, effective immediately. Great Western Financial, with about $25 billion in assets, is the parent company of Great Western Savings, the nation's third-largest savings and loan firm.
Maher, 43, would appear to be the heir-apparent to the company's chairman, James F. Montgomery, 51. Holmes, who resigned because he said he wanted to run his own company, is 54.
Maher has been a director of Great Western for 10 years and served as executive vice president for finance there from 1973 to 1976. He went to work for Blyth, Eastman, Dillon & Co. in 1976, and joined a predecessor company of Shearson Lehman in 1979.
"John knows the company, its business and its people intimately and is in a position to make an immediate impact in advancing our business objectives," Montgomery said in a statement.