Paul A. Price, who has been general counsel for MountainWest Savings for five years, has been named company president, succeeding John L. Richards, who has resigned but continues serving as an adviser.

Price's appointment was made by Gordon Talbot, the managing agent who is providing regulatory supervision of MountainWest for the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., which has oversight responsibilities of this and two other savings and loan institutions in Utah.Although the three savings and loans are under the federal government's joint regulatory program following financial difficulties, they are open for business, and FDIC officials said deposits are insured up to $100,000.

A 1978 graduate of the Western State School of Law in San Diego, Price joined MountainWest in 1983 as general counsel. He previously served as an attorney in the trust department of First Security Bank.

While at MountainWest, Price has been involved in all of the key areas of the business, including commercial real estate. He has been a member of the senior loan committee, the senior strategy and policy committee and as secretary of the board of directors.