Schaefer Adds CEO Title at WFS

Joy Schaefer, who has been president of WFS Financial Inc. since it went public in 1995, was named Monday as chief executive of the auto financing company. The 38-year-old Schaefer takes over for Ernest S. Rady, 59, who remains chairman. She retains her other titles as president, chief operating officer and vice chairman.

Though publicly traded, WFS is 81% owned by Western Financial Bank, a savings and loan that is, in turn, wholly owned by Westcorp Inc. Westcorp also is a publicly traded company, but Rady owns 61.4% of the stock.

Schaefer joined Westcorp’s operations in 1990 and has held executive positions at the holding company level and at the thrift.