Some familiar names returned to the list of nominees for Morningstar’s U.S. Fund Manager of the Year awards.

The best returns from the biggest funds
These popular choices for asset allocation also have a history of solid performance.

Champlain Small Company stands out with the highest return on this year’s list, with a 28.03% return in 2016. Champlain’s competitors include Vanguard’s Primecap team, winner of the 2014 Domestic-Stock Fund Manager of the Year.

Morningstar has named the finalists for its 2016 Fund Managers of the Year awards.

The chart above summarizes the performance of each fund in 2016.

The nominees, Morningstar says, generated outstanding, long-term, risk-adjusted returns.

"This year's crop of nominees not only managed to deliver strong returns to shareholders, but did so the right way – by sticking to their fundamental investing approach through thick and thin," said Laura Pavlenko Lutton, Morningstar's director of manager research.

The research firm plans to announce the winners on Jan. 25.

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