For David Hackney and Kent Weber, portfolio managers at St. Paul, Minn.-based Advantus Capital Management, diversification is the key to gaining as many total-return opportunities as possible. And that broad-market view is what sets the company apart.

Hackney and Weber manage a total of $18 billion in equity and fixed-income assets for Advantus, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Minnesota Life, with about $3 billion in the mortgage market. The two have evolved with the market over the past 20 years, helping place capital markets assets into the mainstream.

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