One of the country's longest serving building society bosses will announce his retirement today .

News that Martin Ritchley, chief executive of the Coventry Building Society, is to stand down on June 30 will be broken to members at the 102 year-old organisation's annual general meeting.

Mr Ritchley, aged 60, has been in the post since 1990, making him one of the most experienced among the country's remaining 63 remaining mutuals.

He joined the society as chief accountant in 1970, became a director in 1985 and moved into the top job five years later.

He will also retire as a member of the council of the Building Societies Association, having been elected in 1995 and having served as its chairman from 2001 to 2002.

As well as heading the country's fifth largest building society, Mr Ritchley has played an active role in Coventry's local community.

His extra-curricular activities include being Chairman of CVOne Limited, the partnership company established to assume the management of Coventry city centre and to promote tourism throughout the Coventry and Warwick-shire area.

He is also on the board of the city's Belgrade Theatre and is also a non-executive of the NFU mutual financial services group based at Stratford upon Avon.

Coventry BS chairman David Harding said: "Martin has been central to the success of the society for many years.

"Under his expert guidance it has grown to be the fifth largest building society with an enviable record of growth, innovation and efficiency.

"At the heart of this success has been his unswerving commitment to the benefits that building society status bring to our members.

"On behalf of the board and our members, I would like to thank him for his many achievements and wish him a long and happy retirement."

Mr Ritchley said: "It has been a great honour to have served Coventry Building Society and its members for so long.

"I have been privileged to lead a fantastic team at Coventry Building Society who have delivered great success in the changing world of financial services.

"I know that I am leaving a strong and confident business which has a great future based upon its philosophy of putting members first."

He has seen the society's assets grow from less than £100 million to £11 billion, a 110-fold increase.

"Our annual results, which will be discussing at the AGM, show that the society grew by 17.5 per cent in 2005.

"That was the latest chapter in what has been an enormous success story in which a lot of people have been involved, not just me," Mr Ritchley added.

He will be succeeded by David Stewart, currently operations director at the society, who will become chief executive on July 1.

A chartered accountant, he joined the society as finance director in 2002 and was appointed operations director in 2003.

Before joining the society, Mr Stewart gained financial services experience at DBS Management where he was group finance director and then group chief executive. ..SUPL: