US - US institutional investment plan sponsors posted a flat third quarter performance with fixed income gains offset by equity losses, the Northern Trust Company said.
Data collected in the Northern Trust Universe – which represents the performance results of more than 300 large institutional investment plans with a combined asset value of over $390bn – revealed plan performance was split between modest gains and small losses around the nearly flat median return.
For the three month period ending September 30, 2004, the median ERISA plan gained 10 basis points, the public funds’ median 43 basis points and the foundations and endowments’ median was up 8 basis points, Northern Trust said.
ERISA plans operate under guidelines established for private pension and employee benefit plans under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974.
Commenting on the results, Northern Trust vice president, investment risk and analytics services Paul Finlayson said: “In most plans, a greater allocation to equities negated the strong contribution from their bond allocations while private equity and real estate programs posted valuation gains during the quarter which buoyed performance of plans having significant allocations to those asset classes.”
Northern Trust said most plan types advanced around 3.5% for the year to date, but for the 12-month period, continued to show double-digit returns despite poor three quarter performance eroding the high gains of the fourth quarter of 2003.
The median ERISA return for the past 12 months was 13.1%, the foundations and endowments median 13.4% and public funds 12.8%.
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