The UK leads the world in wraps and platforms, although the market still has a way to go before it is "truly established", outgoing AIFA director general Chris Cummings says.
Unveiling a platform due-diligence guide for members yesterday, Cummings said platforms have revolutionised the adviser market and the UK is now the world's leading player.
Although Australia pioneered the development of platforms, he said there was a reason Australian firms are now setting up shop in Britain.
"Over the last two or three years platforms have revolutionised the market," he said.
Underlining the rude health of the industry, the AIFA chief, who is leaving the organisation to head up TheCityUK, said new entrants are poised to enter the space whilst existing platforms are "sharpening their offerings".
Unless financial services businesses keep up to date with the rapidly-evolving platform market they will be left behind, he warned.
But he also said the industry has yet to reach full maturity: "There is a long way to go before platforms become truly established."
Cummings also stressed platforms are not a panacea for the industry's ills and urged firms to be wary of providers who claim to offer ideal solutions.
He sounded a cautionary note over platforms offering a one-size-fits-all service to firms.
"My biggest fear is generic solutions being presented to individual firms, he said, "when it should be about making sure the right tailored model is chosen for your firm."
FSA representative Rory Percival, meanwhile, confirmed the regulator views platforms as a service offering.
"We see platforms as a service underpinning the services IFAs provide to customers," he said.
He also confirmed the FSA's platform consultation paper - originally due this summer - will be issued in the Autumn. "There are lots of issues to be considered," he said.
The paper had been delayed because of intensive lobbying undertaken by fund supermarkets over the thorny issue of fund manager rebates.
Regular reminders and updates
9 December 2019 deadline
Joe McDonnell joins as head of portfolio solutions (EMEA)
Adviser of the Year - South East
Fidelity Multi Asset CIO's outlook