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MARSHALL B. WISHNACK PROMOTED TO CEO OF WHEAT, FIRST SECURITIES AND WFS FINANCIAL CORP.; JOHN L. MCELROY JR. CONTINUES AS CHAIRMAN

 MARSHALL B. WISHNACK PROMOTED TO CEO OF WHEAT, FIRST SECURITIES
 AND WFS FINANCIAL CORP.; JOHN L. MCELROY JR. CONTINUES AS CHAIRMAN
 RICHMOND, Va., June 29 /PRNewswire/ -- Marshall B. Wishnack, president and chief operating officer of Wheat, First Securities Inc. and its parent firm, WFS Financial Corp., was elected today as chief executive officer of the companies. Wishnack's promotion was unanimously approved in meetings of the boards of directors of Wheat and WFS Financial and becomes effective July 28, 1992, at the annual meeting of stockholders of the employee-owned firm.
 Wishnack, 45, succeeds John L. McElroy Jr., 61, as CEO. McElroy will continue as chairman of the boards of the two companies and chairman of the firms' executive committee. McElroy will also devote additional time to business development for the firm and to community affairs.
 In announcing the realignment of duties, McElroy said: "This plan for orderly management succession, which has been under discussion for more than a year, recognizes Marshall's outstanding contributions as president since 1984. He has proven his broad range of capabilities in directing the day-to-day operations of this firm, and he brings a dynamic perspective to Wheat's strategic business approach. His promotion and the realignment of my duties strengthen our competitive position for the 1990s."
 Wishnack said: "During the six years Jack has been CEO, our country and our industry experienced the turmoil of the Gulf War, the recession and the stock market crash of October 1987. Despite all these outside pressures, Jack has provided strong, effective leadership and uncompromising standards of integrity, guiding Wheat through a period of unprecedented growth and success. I look forward to his continuing contributions to the firm."
 Under the management team of McElroy and Wishnack, Wheat has achieved record growth. Revenues have grown from $92 million in 1986, when McElroy was named Wheat's CEO, to $259 million in the fiscal year ended March 31, 1992. Equity capital has more than tripled, from $21 million to $65 million. Additionally, the number of full time employees increased from 1,119 to 1,878.
 Wishnack joined Wheat in 1968 as a research analyst and assumed responsibility for the firm's investment strategy in 1974. He was named senior vice president and a director of Wheat in 1976. He became Wheat's president in 1984 and chief operating officer of both Wheat and WFS Financial in 1986.
 He is a graduate of Princeton University and holds an M.B.A. from Columbia University. He is a director of the American Stock Exchange, Lawyers Title Insurance Company, Reeds Jewelers and S&K Famous Brands Inc.
 He serves on the Advisory Board of the Massey Cancer Center, has served as a trustee of St. Christopher's School, the Virginia Commonwealth University Fund and the Jewish Community Federation of Richmond Endowment Fund, and is a former director of the Richmond Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce. He is a past president of the Richmond Society of Financial Analysts.
 McElroy joined Wheat as a stock broker in 1958 and became manager of the Richmond office and a partner of the firm in 1963. He was elected executive vice president in 1971 and vice chairman in 1984. In 1986, he was named chairman and CEO of Wheat and vice chairman and CEO of WFS Financial. He was elected chairman of WFS Financial in 1991, succeeding James C. Wheat Jr.
 McElroy is a graduate of the University of Virginia and the Executive Program of the Colgate Darden Graduate School of Business Administration of the University of Virginia. He is a director of Piper Jaffray Companies Inc., Noland Company and the Securities Industry Association, a trustee of the Darden School Foundation of the University of Virginia, a past president of both the Virginia Historical Society and the Children's Home Society, a former member of the New York Stock Exchange Regional Firms Advisory Committee and a former director of the Church Schools of the Diocese of Virginia and St. Catherine's School.
 Wheat, First Securities Inc. is an investment banking and brokerage firm with 88 offices in 11 states in the Middle Atlantic and Southeastern regions and in the District of Columbia. Founded in 1934, Wheat is headquartered in Richmond, Va.
 -0- 6/29/92
 /CONTACT: Anna H. Gauthier, APR, Director of Corporate Communications, Wheat, First Securities Inc., 804-782-3534/ CO: Wheat, First Securities Inc.; WFS Financial Corp. ST: Virginia IN: FIN SU: PER


JZ -- CH004 -- 4649 06/29/92 11:00 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jun 29, 1992
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