But the looming EU rules could affect them, especially if they run portfolios on behalf of European fund managers.
In the second of two articles on the impact of Europe's incoming Mifid II rules, which will affect how fund managers pay for research, bank teams are seen to be under threat.
First State Stewart Asia has changed its approach to paying for research, in an early indication that asset managers in the region will not be immune from looming EU rules.
Mifid 2 will force brokers to detail how commission payments are being spent. Asian asset owners may demand the same level of disclosure, says Leonard Ng of Sidley Austin.
London remains well set as a European base for Asian fund houses, but it's not so clear-cut now for non-EU wealth managers, says Leonard Ng, partner at law firm Sidley Austin.
New European rules restricting traditional distribution of research reports have been targeted by a technology launch. Its creators claim it will also a provide a better way of sourcing alpha-generating content.