Median ICC Master Trust Down 24% in 2008

February 2, 2009 ( - The median master trust in the Independent Consultants Cooperative (ICC) Universe dropped 12.2% in the fourth quarter and lost 24% for the year ended December 31, 2008.

According to a press release, Endowments & Foundations suffered the greatest losses in the quarter and over the last 12 months – down 13.3% and 25.8%, respectively, while Corporate plans lost the least, with median returns of -12.3% and -24.5%, respectively. International Emerging Market Equity funds suffered the greatest losses in the fourth quarter and in 2008 as a whole. Following a sharp drop of 25.8% in the third quarter, the median fund plunged an additional 28.4% in the fourth quarter; and for the year, the median fund lost more than half its value, declining 53.1%.

U.S. Equity funds also fell sharply in the fourth quarter (down 23.2%), and the median U.S. Equity fund lost 37.1% in 2008, ICC said. International Developed Market Equity funds lost the least in the fourth quarter (down 19.7%), but also suffered significant losses for the full year at 42.2%. Global Equity Funds results mirrored International Developed Market Equity funds (down 20.2% and 40.1% for the quarter and year, respectively).

International Developed Bond funds gained 3.8% in the fourth quarter, ending the year up 4.5%. U.S. Bond funds also experienced gains, with the median fund up 1.6% in the quarter and 1% for the year. Global Bonds lost ground as exposure to the troubled emerging bond market sector impacted results. The median fund was down 0.8% in the fourth quarter and lost 2.1% in 2008.

By style, Small and Mid Cap Growth funds had the lowest returns, falling 26.1% and 26%, respectively. Mid Cap Value lost the least, down 21.7%, followed by Large Cap Value and Large Cap Core which dropped 22% in the quarter.

From a domestic fixed income perspective, according to ICC, High Yield strategies were the only ones to suffer significant losses. The median High Yield fund lost 15.1% in fourth quarter, resulting in a 20.5% drop for 2008. Long funds fared best in the fourth quarter, up 3.2% followed by Intermediate funds which earned 2.8% and Core portfolios which rose 2.5%.

The ICC universe includes nearly 22,000 portfolios in all asset classes, with an aggregate market value of $1.5 trillion.

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