Mark Mackey will resign as president and CEO of NAVA Inc. as of the end of October, the association announced.

NAVA, Reston, Va., has launched a national search to replace Mackey. Clifford Jack, chairman of NAVA, says the group’s board hopes to have a replacement for Mackey by its annual meeting in Philadelphia, Oct. 5-7.

Mackey says he is ending his 12 years as NAVA chief because he thought it was “time to take on a new challenge” and is exploring several new career options.

He says he leaves NAVA in a strong position because of improvements in its public relations program and in the regulatory climate for the industry. Moreover, with a change in administrations forthcoming in Washington early next year, the group needs to undertake comprehensive strategic planning to deal with shifting political conditions. That makes it a good time to hand over the reins to someone who can help NAVA chart the needed direction, he says.

Mackey, an attorney, came to NAVA after serving in a number of legal capacities, including special counsel to the Securities and Exchange Commission.

He counts among his main accomplishments a role in moving NAVA toward more consumer advocacy, including educational programs and support for regulatory initiatives promoting annuity suitability and full disclosure.

He says he will be active in assisting the NAVA board select a successor.