The Equity Release Council has appointed Jim Boyd as chief executive.
Mr Boyd will take up the position in the trade body, following a board decision in June, in a move to "expand and strengthen" its executive capacity within the equity release sector.
The council represents more than 220 member firms and 710 individuals in an industry which the body reported surpassed £3bn of lending for the first time in 2017.
David Burrowes, chairman of the Equity Release Council, said: "Housing wealth is realising its potential to play a vital role in broader retirement planning conversations.
"As these debates continue, Jim's experience in the strategic development of organisations and policy initiatives will be instrumental in The Council’s development as the sector’s authoritative voice."
Mr Boyd has held previous positions at Just Retirement, Partnership Assurance Group, as expert policy adviser to the Department of Work & Pensions and head of research at think tank Reform.
A spokesperson for the council said Mr Boyd will help its members to develop the market effectively and act as a vocal advocate for the benefits of housing wealth in later life funding and retirement planning to the government.
On his new position, Mr Boyd said: "The council has done fantastic work in facilitating the growth of a safe equity release market that gives more consumers access to a financial solution in later life. As the market goes from strength to strength, it is a very exciting time to be joining the council.
"I am looking forward to representing the equity release sector and its customers as we face up to wide-ranging societal challenges, from intergenerational wealth inequalities to social care needs."