Morningstar Inc. named three mutual fund managers who were able to continue their records of strong returns and superior leadership despite the market turbulence during the second half of 2007.

PIMCO founder and CIO Bill Gross and his team won Morningstar’s fixed-income manager of the year award. Gross also set a Morningstar record by being the first manager to be honored three times.

“Bill Gross is a legendary manager who doesn’t hesitate to act with conviction and differ from consensus when he believes it will benefit fundholders,” said Christine Benz, director of mutual fund analysis for Morningstar. “PIMCO Total Return has a great long-term record, and PIMCO and Gross’ predictions about subprime and the weakness in the economy proved to be right on target in 2007.”

Fidelity’s Will Danoff, who has run Contrafund since 1990 and has managed Advisor New Insights since 2003, won the domestic-stock fund manager of the year award for his flexible approach to investing.

“Will Danoff has shown that managing a huge pool of assets doesn’t prevent managers from making smart and timely investing decisions,” Benz said. “His style is hard to pin down, but he is consistently able to sniff out trends before other managers and find ways to stay ahead of the market.”

Hakan Castegren and the Northern Cross Team were selected as the international-stock fund manager of the year for their highly disciplined strategy of picking bargain blue chips priced with strong market shares. Castegren has managed Harbor International since 1987 and won the international-stock fund manager award in 1996.

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