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Asian millionaires turn to independent advisers

SINGAPORE--When the value of his US$20 million portfolio plunged in the 2008 global financial crisis, luxury car enthusiast Gerard Tan followed a growing trend among Asia's elite investors by turning to an independent adviser for help.

His bank had put most of his cash in volatile emerging market bonds, which were hammered by the financial turmoil.

Tan, who asked that his real name not be used, kept his money in the bank, but engaged the services of an adviser unrelated to the institution in order to staunch the losses.

Six years after the crisis, a growing number of Asia's millionaires are turning to independent wealth advisers, who offer professional advice for a fee much like doctors and lawyers do.

Without pushing clients to buy financial assets, they offer an alternative to wealth managers working for private banks, which traditionally generate revenues on commission.

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