Samuel B. Hayes 3d of Boatmen's Bancshares and Owen G. "Bob" Shell Jr. of NationsBank Corp. were big winners in the executive lineup NationsBank unveiled Wednesday in the wake of its deal to buy Boatmen's.

Mr. Hayes, 59, the No. 2 executive at Boatmen's, is to be president of NationsBank West, which will cover Missouri, Arkansas, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas.

Mr. Shell, 60, the head of NationsBank's Tennessee subsidiary, will oversee all of the merged banks' trust and investment functions, including their mutual fund groups.

The appointments are to take effect in January, when the $9.6 billion acquisition by Charlotte, N.C.-based NationsBank is to close.

Heading NationsBank West, Mr. Hayes will be in charge of the eight-state Boatmen's banking network and NationsBank Texas, the largest bank in that state, where the two companies have their only overlap.

"This makes sense in that Texas fits in better culturally with Missouri, Oklahoma, Arkansas and all the other states where Boatmen's operates than with the eastern part of NationsBank," said Dean Witter analyst Anthony R. Davis.

Merrill Lynch & Co. analyst Sandra J. Flannigan said she was not surprised by the selection of Mr. Hayes, given his prominence within Boatmen's. As president of the St. Louis bank company, he reports to chairman and chief executive officer Andrew B. Craig 3d, 64, who is slated to be NationsBank chairman through April 1998.

"Sam Hayes would have been one of the candidates to succeed Andy Craig if the bank had remained independent and Andy had retired," Ms. Flannigan said.

Mr. Hayes and Mr. Shell will report to NationsBank's second-in-command, president Kenneth D. Lewis. Mr. Lewis' boss, Hugh L. McColl Jr., will be CEO of the merged enterprise.

In advance of the formal combination, "we're prepared to begin thinking together about the teamwork, technology, and financial resources that will make our customers the beneficiaries of this merger," Mr. Lewis said. "These initial appointments set the stage for delivering consistent services seamlessly across the borders of our new franchise."

Also Wednesday, NationsBank announced:

*The promotion of David Darnell to president of NationsBank-Midwest, the NationsBank West banks in Kansas City, Mo.; Arkansas; St. Louis; and southern Missouri. Mr. Darnell is currently the commercial bank executive for NationsBank-Florida.

*The elevation of Tim Arnoult to president of NationsBank-Southwest. Mr. Arnoult, currently with NationsBank's private-client group in Atlanta, will administer banks in New Mexico and Oklahoma, as well as some commercial and consumer functions in Texas.

*Bob Lane, president of NationsBank Texas, will remain in that post until his retirement at yearend 1997.

Four executives are to report to Mr. Shell:

*John Morton, president of the Boatmen's St. Louis bank, as president of the private-client group.

*Martin "Sandy" Galt, who will remain in St. Louis as president of Boatmen's Trust Co.

*David Fisher, currently with NationsBank's private-client group in Atlanta, as president of NationsBank Trust.

*John Munce, remaining in Charlotte as an asset management executive.

Jim Sommers, who led NationsBank's trust and asset management group through a two-year reorganization, will move over to the retail bank as strategic planning executive under Mr. Lewis.

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