Rickards (pictured), who is head of BM Solutions at Lloyds Banking Group, was first appointed Deputy Chair of IMLA in December 2015 and has also served as a director.
Louisa Sedgwick, director of sales at Vida Homeloans has been appointed deputy chair.
Rickards is succeeding Coventry Building Society head of intermediaries Kevin Purvey, who returns to the role of IMLA director.
He will be joined by Alison Pallett of the Bank of Ireland who was elected as a director and Paul Darwin from Skipton Building Society, who has served on the IMLA board since 2016.
January 2018 will also see Kate Davies begin her role as executive director, succeeding Peter Williams after more than a decade in the role.
Meanwhile, John Heron of Paragon Group will step down from the board to take up a position on the UK Finance Mortgages and Product Service Board.
Heron has been involved with IMLA for almost thirty years, including multiple terms as IMLA chairman and director roles since the mid-1990s.
Incoming IMLA chair Phil Rickards said: “I am looking forward to building on the fantastic contribution made by Kevin over the last two years, and collaborating with the rest of the board in this time of transition.
“Though we’re sad to see Peter step down from his long-standing role as executive director, we’re confident Kate’s appointment will stand IMLA in good stead as we continue to grow.”
IMLA reached 39 full lender members this year – the highest number on record – ahead of its 30th year in 2018. The trade body’s membership has tripled since falling to 13 during the post-2007-08 recession.
IMLA executive director Kate Davies added: “As I too settle into my new role, I’m looking forward to working closely with IMLA directors throughout 2018 to play an active part in tackling key issues that will shape the market’s future.
“I’d like to thank Peter for all his wide-ranging contributions to IMLA over the years and his help in preparing me to take on the role. Both he and John Heron will be formidable acts to follow and I speak for every IMLA member in wishing them both well in the future.”