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Largest institutional investors see best third quarter performance

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The largest institutional investors racked up the best median returns during the third quarter of 2009 with master trusts with assets greater than USD5bn and public funds with more than USD5bn both seeing median returns of 11.88 per cent for the quarter.

For the year ended 30 September 2009, corporate funds fared the best with a 2.08 per cent median return followed by corporate plans with greater than USD1bn in assets tallying a median return of 1.61 per cent, according to the Wilshire Trust Universe Comparison Service.

“Once again plan size was a big determinant of return for the quarter with master trusts with more than USD5bn returning 11.88 per cent, master trusts with more than USD1bn returning 11.35 per cent and those with less than USD1bn returning 9.99 per cent,” says Hilarie C. Green, managing director and head of Wilshire Analytics’ performance reporting division. “Interestingly, over longer time periods and market cycles, the ‘size effect’ evens out resulting in similar returns for the ten-year period ending September 2009 of 4.35 per cent, 4.49 per cent and 4.28 per cent, respectively.”

Taft Hartley funds continued to languish in negative territory for the one-year period with all Taft Hartley plans tallying a median return of -1.01 per cent while with those with more than USD1bn in assets saw a -0.92 per cent median return.

Foundations and endowments with assets of more than USD1bn had an annual median return of 1.28 per cent followed closely by all foundations and endowment and all public funds coming in at one-year median returns of 1.27 per cent. Public funds with more than USD5bn, all master trusts with assets topping USD5bn and public funds with greater than USD1bn all had one-year median returns of 0.51 per cent.

The US stock market, as represented by the Wilshire 5000 Total Market Index rallied strongly in the third quarter, climbing 16.12 per cent to extend its rally since the 9 March 2009 recent low to 60.62 per cent. The market value gain for the third quarter was approximately USD1.7trn.

The Wilshire Global Total Market Index saw a quarterly gain of 18.24 per cent while the Wilshire Global ex-US Index was up 19.59 per cent during the third quarter.

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