Toronto-based Morningstar, Inc. on Tuesday named three mutual managers and one asset management company as the winners of the 2016 Canadian Fund Manager of the Year awards.

“The analyst-driven awards recognize mutual fund managers who delivered impressive performance in 2016, have generated excellent long-term risk-adjusted returns, and have been good stewards of fund shareholders’ capital,” Morningstar says in a news release.

“The past year included a revival in Canadian stocks, political upheaval in Europe and the United States, and expectations for rising inflation and interest rates. All of the nominees for the 2016 Morningstar Canadian Fund Manager of the Year awards demonstrated skill in navigating this uncertain environment, while sticking to their long-term fundamentals,” says Christopher Davis, manager research strategist for Morningstar Research, in a statement.

“These fund managers deserve recognition for their ability to deliver impressive returns in both 2016 and over the long term, while continuing to put shareholders’ interests first,” Davis adds.

The winners are:

> Equity fund manager of the year: Stephen Arpin and William Otton, Beutel Goodman Small Cap Fund
According to Morningstar, Arpin and Otton stood out with consistent performance that has delivered nearly double the return of their peers over the last two years. “Their 21% return last year wasn’t as strong as more commodities-heavy rivals, but it still ranked in the top third of the Canadian small/mid-cap category,” Morningstar says.

> Fixed-income fund manager of the year: Hanif Mamdani, PH&N High Yield Bond
In late 2015, Mamdani considered Canadian high-yield energy bonds to be a very attractive opportunity, Morningstar says. In early 2016 the fund briefly took in new money to add a stake in depressed energy and basic materials issuers and closed shortly after reaching its asset target. The fund rose 17% for the year, almost twice the high-yield fixed-income category average,” Morningstar says.

> Steward of the year: RBC Global Asset Management
Toronto-based RBC Global Asset Management sliced expenses broadly across 85 funds, Morningstar notes, adding that “Morningstar research has found a strong relationship between costs and investment performance, with lower fees improving investors’ odds of success.”

“By lowering fees, RBC’s heft raises the bar for its competitors to do the same,” Morningstar says.