As all eyes turn to Brazil for the kickoff of the 20th Fifa World Cup this week, AsianInvestor has selected its own fantasy fund manager football XI.

We selected our team of 11 to reflect the realities of a football team, with a goalkeeper, four defenders, four midfielders and two strikers. To see our methodology, please click here.

Our performance data was provided independently by Mercer, Morningstar and eVestment. We would like to thank them for their support.

Yesterday we announced our goalkeeper: Cameron Garlick, who runs the BlackRock Institutional Liquidity Fund.

As explained, we wanted an Asia-Pacific developed market cash asset class, and Australia had the most compelling returns over our four-year qualification period. We converted the fund to US dollars.

Now we move on to central defence, the beating heart of AsianInvestor’s team. Here we have paired Patrick Yeo of Fullerton Fund Management with Joep Huntjens of ING Investment Management.

Yeo runs the Fullerton Global Bond Fund, or at least he did until it was announced recently that Fullerton was closing this fund, as reported by AsianInvestor.

But we are choosing players not on investability but on performance, and this fund manager’s relative, risk-adjusted performance has been excellent over the past four years.

Alongside him is Huntjens, who has stayed loyal to ING despite crippling corporate activity and has delivered industry-beating returns.

AsianInvestor’s select XI is published in full in our June magazine issue, which is available online. Let us know what you think of our project, and perhaps send us your own team/player suggestions, by writing to editors@asianinvestor.net.

Here are the write-ups of AsianInvestor’s central defensive pairing. We will reveal the rest of our team selection over the course of the week.
 

3 CENTRE BACK
Patrick Yeo
Fullerton Global Bond Fund

The best-performing hard currency global bond product run out of Asia belongs to BEA Union Investment. But the firm has endured staff turnover. Amid distractions and transition, we dropped BEA from our XI. But our scouts picked up on Patrick Yeo at Fullerton Fund Management, whose index-relative risk-adjusted performance has been excellent. Ironically as AsianInvestor went to press we learned Fullerton was closing down this fund. While this was a non-core legacy offering, Patrick Yeo has performed well (on both Asian and global bonds). It’s not his fault that it’s hard to attract AUM for a global bond fund in Asia. It makes his football card a collector’s item now! This fund comprised investment-grade debt including government bonds, asset-backed securities and Asian corporate bonds. It could also invest in futures and derivatives for hedging and efficient management. With a reward to risk ratio of 1.3, it was best in class. Yeo is Fullerton’s head of fixed income and has managed this fund throughout. Fullerton is a name we’re happy to have protecting our goal. A rock in defence.

4 CENTRE BACK
Joep Huntjens
ING Renta Fund Asian Debt (hard currency)

We wanted a centre back who offers security but can capitalise on opportunities. Joep Huntjens fits the bill. Bruised and battered by the corporate activity that has crippled ING since 2008, he deserves credit for staying loyal and delivering an industry-beating return of 8.3% over four years. He’s the number one performer in Asian credit. While Huntjens was due to return to the Netherlands, he stayed where he was needed in Asia after the majority of ING’s emerging market debt team departed. While ING has endured turnover, we are picking players on form and record. ING’s Asian hard-currency debt fund is a Sicav that invests in bonds and money market instruments issued mainly in US dollars by Asian issuers. The portfolio is diversified across countries, sectors and instruments. As a US dollar fund there is no Asian currency risk. The fund invests about 52% in investment-grade bonds, versus 71% for the benchmark. While this is relatively riskier, its long-term approach has proved outstanding. Huntjens gets credit for his returns and his staying power.