Paul Ellis (pictured) has announced he is planning to step down after 40 years of involvement at Ecology Building Society, 26 as chief executive, making him the longest serving CEO in the sector.

The society has commenced the recruitment process for a new chief executive and Ellis is expected to remain in post until 2022 to support the handover process.

Steve Round, chair of the board at Ecology Building Society, said: “I would like to thank Paul for his extraordinary contributions to both the development of the society, as a member, then director and latterly chief executive, as well as the wider values-based banking, social and environmental finance, and green building community.

“Throughout that time his unwavering commitment to our founding members’ vision of applying ecological principles to finance to deliver a sustainable future has guided the society from its early pioneering activity to our current position as a leading exponent of green finance.

“I am delighted that Paul will be remaining with the society to support the handover process with his successor.”

Ellis added: “I have had the great good fortune to work for an organisation whose principles and reason for being I passionately support.

“Indeed, with Ecology I have had the opportunity to demonstrate how balance sheet dynamics can be constructed in order to pursue the provision of sustainable finance.

“Nothing would have been possible without our members and wider stakeholders in the green building community, and I am proud to have met so many passionate people and experienced so many exciting projects.

“I will be leaving Ecology with fantastic memories to continue the fight for a sustainable future through other means.”