Morningstar announced its 2012 U.S. Fund Manager of the Year award winners in the allocation, alternatives, domestic stock, international stock, and fixed income categories.

And the winners are:

• Domestic-Stock Fund Manager of the Year: Bill Frels and Mark Henneman, Mairs and Power Growth (MPGFX)

• International-Stock Fund Manager of the Year: Rajiv Jain, Virtus Foreign Opportunities (JVIAX) and Virtus Emerging Markets Opportunities (HEMZX)

• Fixed-Income Fund Manager of the Year: Mark Kiesel, PIMCO Investment-Grade Corporate Bond (PIGIX)

• Alternatives Fund Manager of the Year: Eric Newman, Kevin Gates, Larry Eiben, Richard Gates,Chao Chen, and Yan Liu, TFS Market Neutral (TFSMX)

• Allocation Fund Manager of the Year: David Giroux, T. Rowe Price Capital Appreciation(PRWCX)

In a statement, Scott Burns, director of North American fund research for Morningstar, said that the firm last year decided to include allocation and alternative strategies as part of the award selection process because of growing investor interest in these strategies.

“Interest in strategies using multiple asset classes has grown over the past 20 years, especially with the emergence of target-date funds and more flexible, go-anywhere funds pursuing a range of different goals. Assets in funds employing alternative strategies rose about 21% in 2011, and then another 16% through November 2012,” he said.

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