Master Trusts See Positive Q3 2010

November 19, 2010 ( - The median return of the BNY Mellon Master Trust Universe was 8.48% for the third quarter of 2010, reversing course from the -4.87 % return reported for Q2.

With the rebound, the median return is 6.70% on a year-to-date basis and 10.32% for the twelve months ending September 30, 2010.  

According to a press release, 100% of plans posted positive results for the quarter ending September 30, 2010.  All but a single plan (99.85%) also saw positive returns on a year-to-date basis. Less than 25% of plans matched or outperformed the custom policy return of 9.56% for the third quarter, a significant drop compared to Q2. Year-to-date, a more typical 84% of plans met or exceeded the policy return of 5.29%.

Corporate plans were the leading performer for the third quarter, posting a median return of 8.95%, closely followed by public funds, Taft Hartley, health care, and foundations and endowments.

Non-U.S. equities were the dominant asset class for the quarter with the median return up 16.29% compared to the MSCI World ex USA return of 16.21%, the press release said. U.S. equities posted 11.58% for the quarter with the Russell 3000 Index up 11.53%.  The median return for non-U.S. fixed income was 8.59% compared to the Citigroup Non-U.S. World Government Bond Index return of 10.45%.  U.S. fixed income was the lowest performing asset class for the quarter with a median return of 3.51%, versus the Barclays Capital U.S. Aggregate Bond Index return of 2.48%.  

The average asset allocation in the BNY Mellon U.S. Master Trust Universe for the third quarter was: U.S. equity 32%, U.S. fixed income 28%, non-U.S. equity 17%, non-U.S. fixed income 2%, alternative investments 10%, real estate 2%, cash 1%, and other (oil, gas, etc.) 8%.  

With a market value of $1.19 trillion and an average plan size of $1.64 billion, the BNY Mellon U.S. Master Trust Universe consists of 728 corporate, foundation, endowment, public, Taft-Hartley and health care plans.