The chief operating officer of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) has resigned unexpectedly.

RICS flags

Source: Shutterstoc/Ceri Breeze

The crisis-struck organisation confirmed today to Property Week that COO Violetta Parylo has handed in her resignation and will leave RICS tomorrow.

Rofi Ihsan, currently interim chief financial officer, will become interim COO on 7 June 2021.

Parylo has served on the executive team for over a decade and her sudden departure comes as RICS faces major pressure from its membership base to reform.

The 153-year-old institution has been engulfed in a governance crisis since allegations emerged in The Sunday Times late last year that four directors were dismissed in 2019 for raising the alarm over a 2018 BDO financial report.

At the end of January, RICS bowed to industry pressure and announced plans for two reviews, one of which is being overseen by independent QC Alison Levitt, who is investigating the events that led to the dismissal of the four directors. She is set to provider her report this month.

The other review is a broader probe into the “purpose and relevance of RICS in 2021 and beyond”. The broader probe’s findings were published last month. They showed falling trust levels, waning influence and concerns about transparency were among the top issues highlighted by members of RICS.

A spokesperson for RICS said: “We can confirm that Violetta Parylo, Chief Operating Officer, has decided to leave RICS to pursue other opportunities and will depart on 4th June 2021.

“Violetta has been a member of the Executive Team for over a decade, in which time she has made a significant contribution to RICS and played a central role in steering the institution and tackling the challenges of Brexit and Covid-19. We wish her all the best in her future endeavours.

“Rofi Ihsan, currently interim Chief Financial Officer, will become interim Chief Operating Officer on 7th June 2021, providing continuity of leadership and ensuring a smooth transition.”

Parylo has been responsible for the long-term financial strategy of RICS. She has also been leading the delivery of effective corporate services, including information technology, property management, facilities, legal, compliance, risk and corporate governance.