Daniel Godfrey, chief executive of the UK asset management association, has stepped down following reports that M&G and Schroders were to let their membership lapse.

Godfrey, who has been chief executive since December 2012, will step down with immediate effect.

Current director of risk, compliance and legal Guy Sears will take over as interim chief executive until a permanent replacement is found.

Sears joined the Investment Management Association (IMA), as the Investment Association was known until last year, in 2007 as its director of institutional.

In 2013, he was named director of risk, compliance and legal.

Prior to his time at the IMA, Sears, a trained solicitor, spent three years as deputy chief executive at the Association of Private Client Investment Managers and Stockbrokers, and worked at both the Securities and Investment Board and the Financial Services Authority, established in 1997 to succeed the SIB.

Helena Morrissey, chair of the Investment Association, thanked Godfrey for his “significant” contribution over the course of his tenure.

“During his time, Daniel has driven a number of important initiatives, including the transformative merger with ABI Investment Affairs,” she said. 

“His commitment and passion for our industry is widely admired by all those who have worked with him.

“We owe him a great debt of gratitude and wish him the very best for the future.”

Godfrey’s departure comes after reports that Schroders and M&G – which account for around one-tenth of the £5.5trn (€7.1trn) in assets represented by the association – would let their membership of the association lapse at the end of the year.

IPE understands M&G still intends to let its membership lapse.