All eyes have turned to Brazil for the 20th Fifa World Cup, which kicked off last week. AsianInvestor has been revealing 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.

Last week we revealed our goalkeeper, Cameron Garlick of BlackRock; our central defensive partnership of Patrick Yeo from Fullerton Fund Management and Joep Huntjens of ING Investment Management; and our wing backs, Low Guan-Yi and Ooi Boon Peng, both of Eastspring Investments.

Yesterday we started to announce our central midfield, with defensive midfielder Frankie Tai of Invesco and playmaker Linda Csellak of Manulife.

Today we reveal our right and left midfield, including our team captain. On the right-hand side we have selected Dale Nicholls of Fidelity, who recently relocated to Hong Kong. He runs the firm’s Pacific fund, a diversified equity product that focuses on countries with a Pacific coast, including Japan, Southeast Asia nations and the US. It has an annualised return of 13.2% with a risk-reward ratio of 0.7.

As our captain and on the left of midfield we have chosen Alistair Thompson from First State Investments. The firm has an excellent record in Asian equity, as reflected in Thomson getting the captain’s armband. He runs the Singapore growth fund, which boasts an annualised return of 21% over four years, and is top among peers for reward-to-risk and information ratio.

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 for AsianInvestor’s left and right midfield players. We will finalise our team announcement tomorrow by revealing our strikers.

7 LEFT MIDFIELD
Dale Nicholls, Fidelity Pacific Fund

We wanted a diversified regional equity strategy for our midfield general. First State Investments has a series of consistent performers in a number of strategies; it’s a real conveyor-belt of talent. But Fidelity’s absolute performance was marginally ahead. Its Pacific fund primarily invests in equities in countries with a Pacific coast, including Japan, Southeast Asia nations and the US. No doubt it will have benefitted from US economic recovery during this cycle, although its chief geographic exposures currently are China and Japan. It has delivered a 13.2% annualised four-year return, including 7.5% excess over the MSCI AC Pacific (Net) Index with an information ratio of 1.1, delivering the best risk-reward ratio of 0.7. The fund has been managed by Dale Nicholls since 2003. Based in Hong Kong, he joined Fidelity in 1996. He focuses on Pacific and Japanese equities funds and described himself as excited to take over Fidelity’s China Special Situations fund from Anthony Bolton. We like a player who won’t wilt in the limelight. Nicholls is on-field general with a licence to roam.

8 RIGHT MIDFIELD
Alistair Thompson (captain), First State Singapore Growth

We could have chosen any number of single-country Asian equity funds, but we have called up Alistair Thompson from First State Investments. We wanted to reward First State for its consistency in Asian equity and Thompson gets the captain’s armband. First State staff have personal wealth invested in their funds, aligning themselves with investor interests. It’s a committed team approach we approve of. This fund has outshone peers, with an annualised return of 21% over four years, over 12% ahead of the Straits Times Index. For both reward-to-risk and information ratio it comes top. The fund chiefly invests in securities listed or traded in Singapore (58%) and Malaysia (35%), or incorporated therein. It adopts a bottom-up approach, and looks to determine the sustainability of factors leading to a company’s growth profile. Thompson joined First State in 2003 and relocated to Singapore later the same year. Previously he spent nine years at Edinburgh Fund Managers and managed money-market funds for CIM Fund Managers. We buy into Thompson’s proven game plan. Captain fantastic.