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.
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