Louis Armstrong, the outgoing chief executive of the RICS, has been described as a “hard act to follow” by leading industry figures

Armstrong, who will retire from his reported £406,000-a-year job this year, has been chief executive since 1998 and is credited with internationalising the body, which now operates in 140 countries.

The RICS’ governing council has yet to announce a replacement.

Max Crofts, RICS president, said: “Louis has played a leading role in building RICS as the mark of property professionalism worldwide and has done an immense amount to raise our profile and influence around the world.”

Richard Steer, senior partner at Gleeds, said: “He has brought the RICS through a difficult time and transformed it into a global property organisation.”

Graham Watts, chief executive of the Construction Industry Council (CIC), said: “He’s a hard act to follow, but there are a lot of good people out there. No doubt some politicians will be interested after 6 May.”

Last week Building revealed the body would remain a member of the CIC following its proposal to withdraw because it did not think the industry-wide body was an effective channel to influence the government.