Most Plan Sponsors Ended 2007 with Modest Advances

January 23, 2008 ( - The latest year-end data from Northern Trust indicates that most U.S. institutional investment plan sponsors reported modest returns for the year ending December 31, 2007, following a difficult fourth quarter.

A Northern Trust news release said corporate and public plans in its Northern Trust Universe posted median returns of -0.6% and -0.7% for the fourth quarter, respectively, while foundation and endowments led the way with a quarterly median return of -0.2%.  

On a year-end basis as of December 31, corporate and public fund plans returned a median 8.4% and 8.5%, respectively, the Northern Trust data showed.  Foundations and endowments posted a yearly median gain of 9.4%.

The Northern Trust Emerging Markets manager universe was the best performer over a one-year time period, posting a median return for the year of 36.7%.  

According to the announcement, plans with large allocations to small cap U.S. equity paid the price this year as the Northern Trust Small Cap manager universe posted a scant gain of 0.3%, which outpaced the Russell 2000 one-year return of -1.6%.

The Northern Trust Universe represents the performance results of more than 300 large institutional investment plans, with a combined asset value of approximately $700 billion, which subscribe to Northern Trust performance measurement services.

More information is at .