IFA platform assets topped £90bn by the end of 2009 as smaller, newer propositions made their mark, The Platforum says.
The platform development company says sales increased to £91.7bn as at 31 December, representing a rise of 7.9% in Q4.
It adds while this was not quite the "meteoric rise" witnessed in other quarters, it was notable both for its growth compared to the FTSE and for the stand-out contributions of some of the smaller and newer market entrants.
"Of course it's easier to record dramatic growth coming off a small base, but we estimate Axa's £620m is nearly double what it had in Q3 and Novia, Nucleus and Standard Life all clock in around the 20% growth mark," it says in its latest newsletter.
However, it says the sector is still dominated by the big three - Skandia, Fidelity and Cofunds - which accounted for 78% of platform assets and 87% if Transact is thrown into the mix.
Meanwhile, The Platforum warns new platform entrants will face a very competitive arena.
"The average figure given by our platform bosses for the percentage of new business they expect to see from signed-up IFAs this year averages at slightly over 75%," it says.
"That's quite a big challenge to take on board and really drives home the need for a differentiated proposition if you're coming to what is becoming a full market."
The Platforum's IFA rankings suggest the propositions offering the best service standards boast the fastest growth.
The smaller platforms which grew the most - AXA, Novia, Nucleus and Standard Life - were top four for business development manager (BDM) support and were among the top five for quality of customer service.
‘Important to have an anchor’
Lack of innovation for solutions
Some 2,000 consumers affected
Achievements, charity work and other happy snippets