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Exclusive: Peter Williams to step back from IMLA by year end; Trade body begins search for replacement

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  • 23/01/2017
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Exclusive: Peter Williams to step back from IMLA by year end; Trade body begins search for replacement
The Intermediary Mortgage Lenders' Association (IMLA) has begun the search to replace its longstanding executive director, following Peter Williams’ confirmation of plans to exit the body at the end of 2017.

In consultation with the IMLA Board, it was agreed that now was a sensible time to begin the search for his replacement.

The move from Williams (pictured) is driven by Peter’s unprompted choice to step down to allow IMLA to benefit from ‘fresh thinking’ and so he can focus on a non-executive directorship role at Vida Homeloans, chairmanship of for profit housing association Urban Scape Residential and his departmental fellowship at Cambridge University.

IMLA will be considering applications for the role of executive director, and is interested in hearing from individuals who possess strong leadership skills and a comprehensive knowledge of the UK mortgage market. The primary responsibilities of the new appointee will be to coordinate IMLA’s core activities, including its relationships with industry partners and policy makers, and to progress initiatives agreed by members in the medium to long term.

Williams was IMLA’s first executive director and will have served for just over 11 months after joining in December 2006.

Williams said any candidate needs to be comfortable with flexible working in a part-time capacity in a very fluid market.

“Inevitably you have to work as and when matters arise from journalists or meetings with government, on to briefing members on issues when they arise from time to time,” he added.

Over his time leading the body, the global financial crisis presented the biggest challenge, he said, as membership plummeted from 36 into the teens with the loss of income that entailed for the organisation.

Since then, IMLA’s membership has grown to a post-recession high of 34 lenders, including high street banks, building societies and challenger banks, each of whom distribute through the intermediary channel. These include 16 of the UK’s top 20 mortgage lenders, who are responsible for nearly £180bn in lending.

IMLA’s board, led by chairman Kevin Purvey of the Coventry Building Society, will lead the search for the next executive director. He is supported by deputy chairman Phil Rickards, of Lloyds Banking Group, and directors John Heron managing director, Paragon Mortgages, Charles Haresnape, managing director, Aldermore Mortgages, Paul Darwin, head of intermediary sales at Skipton Building Society, and Vida Homeloans’ director of sales, Louisa Sedgwick .

Kevin Purvey, IMLA’s chairman, said: “Peter will depart from IMLA on the very best terms at the end of the year, having been instrumental in its growth and performance over the past decade as the market has recovered from recession.”

“It’s a great opportunity to engage in and shape policy so first and foremost the right candidate needs a thorough understanding of the market itself and the gravitas to deal with trade bodies and the regulator,” added Purvey.

“I would like to thank Peter for his unwavering commitment to the interests of IMLA, its members, and the broader mortgage market over the last decade.”

Peter Williams, IMLA’s executive director, said: “I have thoroughly enjoyed my time as and would like to thank the board and members for giving me this opportunity and for the support I have enjoyed.

“I feel that given all I have done over the past decade, and the considerable changes facing the market, it is sensible to step down and let IMLA appoint someone who can lead them through the next five years. The role is a great opportunity for someone looking to have a highly influential role in the industry and to be a voice for the sector in some of the most important policy and commercial debates in the mortgage market.”

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