Benson Hersch will step down as chief executive of the Association of Short-Term Lenders (ASTL) later this year.
The 75-year-old will remain in the role until at least September in order to help the association identify and appoint a successor.
Hersch (pictured) said: “It has been my pleasure and vocation over the past seven years to assist the ASTL to grow and prosper; both financially and in terms of membership and strength of profile; as well as facilities provided to members.
“Unfortunately, nothing is forever and I feel that now is the time to hand over to someone who can continue the task. I will, of course, assist in any way my successor may require in order to ensure a smooth transition.
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank all board members, past and present; as well as all the members for their assistance in making the past seven years an extremely pleasant experience.
“I also want to thank our administrator, Kay Woolley, for her invaluable experience.”
James Bloom, executive committee member, said: “On behalf of the directors, we would like to formally place on record our enormous thanks to Benson for his many years of hard work and dedication to the ASTL.
“Finding his replacement will not be easy but the search will start in earnest.
“We look forward to the appointment of a new chief executive to continue the positive momentum and growth of the ASTL.”
Paresh Raja, chief executive, Market Financial Solutions, said: “During his seven years as the head of the ASTL, Benson Hersch has established himself as a figurehead for the UK’s bridging industry.
“Since 2012, the short-term lending market has obviously grown at a significant rate, and in that time Benson has provided clear communication around the way the sector is evolving and the challenges that we – as lenders – must address.
“All eyes now turn to his successor. Whoever is chosen, it’s vital he or she continues to champion the bridging industry and does all they can to support the on-going growth of the short-term lending market.”
Stephen Wasserman, managing director at West One, added: “We’re hugely grateful to Benson for the work that he has done to promote high standards within the sector, our interests as members, and the sector itself.
“I hope he still has some involvement in the industry as his personality, warmth and knowledge will be missed.”
Gareth Lewis, commercial director, MT Finance spoke of how Hersch will be missed: “The dedication to the bridging market shown by Benson is a testament to his character.
“He was one of the first instrumental figures I encountered in the bridging space when I joined Cheval in 2004.
“He has always strived to do what was right for the sector through the good and not so good times, and has played a part in the journey of some of the top character within the space.
“I will always be grateful for the opportunity Benson gave me early on in my career, and the subsequent works he has done since. I wish him well, and I hope he enjoys the well earned rest he deserves.”
Brian West, director, Central Bridging added: “I have been privileged to serve on the ASTL Executive Board under Benson for the last two years and can say with certainty that he will be sorely missed.
“Under his stewardship the ASTL has grown from strength to strength and whoever replaces him will benefit hugely from his legacy.”
Hersch has been chief executive of the ASTL since June 2012.