Baltimore investment firm Brown Capital Management was recently honored with a top national award by research company Morningstar, Inc.

The firm recently announced that portfolio managers Keith Lee, Robert Hall, Kempton Ingersol, Damien Davis and Andrew Fones were named Morningstar, Inc.’s U.S Domestic-Fund Managers of Year for 2015.  

Brown itself received a Morningstar Overall Rating of five stars and a Morningstar Analyst Rating of Gold, which is the highest medal rating.

“We have had high regard for the team at Brown Capital Management for a long time. Since we launched the Morningstar Analyst Rating in 2011, the Fund has carried a Gold rating,” Jon Hale, Morningstar’s director of manager research, North America, said in a statement.

Every year Morningstar rates more than 1,000 fund managers, and selects a few that have consistently performed well. Analysts with Morningstar use a five-pillar rating system, looking at process, people, performance, parent and price. The recommended ratings then go to the Ratings Committee for approval.

Nominees are also selected through four analyst asset class-teams, which include Equity, Fixed Income, Multi-asset and Alternatives, according to Morningstar. The analyst team then looks at the nominees and votes on the winner.

Brown’s Small Company Fund has placed in the top ranks of Morningstar’s small-growth category in eight of the past ten years. The fund’s managers have also generated 8.8 percent in returns.

The fund focuses its attention on companies with revenues $250 million or less, according to CNBC. Janet Yang, research manager at Morningstar, told CNBC that Brown Capital Management targets companies for investment whose work “save lives, time, money or headaches.”

Yang added that, “the Brown team is everything you want in an investment team: it’s stable, it’s long tenure, they’re very experienced.”