St. Louis-based Magna Group Inc. was a result of "philosophical differences," according to the bank. Mr. Maynard, who joined Magna only a year and a half ago, after nearly 30 years at Ernst & Young, will be replaced by Ronald Buerges, senior vice president of finance, on an interim basis. Mr. Buerges previously reported to Mr. Maynard. The $4.9 billion-asset bank has begun a national search for a new finance chief. "If I had to sum it up, I'd say there were philosophical differences between Mr. Maynard and Magna," said spokesman Gary Hemmer. Mr. Hemmer declined to elaborate on Mr. Maynard's resignation. He said Mr. Maynard had supported a major cost-cutting plan begun this year, which included merging charters in Missouri and Illinois. Magna's net interest margin has been squeezed, and its efficiency ratio has been hovering above 60% for most of the year. The 53-year-old Mr. Maynard, nicknamed "Lucky," joined Magna after working as partner in charge of Magna at Ernst & Young's St. Louis office. He moved to St. Louis from Ernst & Young's Washington office about 12 years ago. Mr. Hemmer said Mr. Maynard's hiring had been the culmination of a mutual courting. Mr. Maynard knew G. Thomas Andes, Magna's chairman and chief executive. Having worked with Magna gave him an edge over other candidates vying for the job of the retiring George Klann, who had been chief financial officer for more than 20 years. But Mr. Hemmer said Mr. Maynard and Magna officials didn't see eye to eye. "It's not meant to send up any red flag at Magna," Mr. Hemmer said. "There was just a difference of views. We certainly wish Mr. Maynard well in his endeavors." For his part, Mr. Maynard would not discuss particulars about his leaving the bank. "Whatever they want to say, they can say," he said. He said he plans to consult, especially for small start-up companies in and around St. Louis. He also wants to perform more volunteer work. He said he's not interested in returning to an accounting firm. Mr. Hemmer said the bank would not rush to fill the position. "We want somebody to be part of our team and stay focused on the game plan," he said.
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