N. Trust Universe Sees Strong 2005 Showing

January 23, 2005 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - The Northern Trust Company reported that most institutional investment plan sponsors posted a solid 2005 performance, according to data in the Northern Trust Universe.

According to a Northern Trust news release, Foundations & Endowments in the universe gained 8.2%, at the median, for the 12 months ending December 31, 2005, while ERISA defined benefit plans and Public Funds both finished up about 7.8% for the year.

In the fourth quarter of 2005, ERISA and Foundations & Endowments plans posted 2.3% returns at the median, while Public Funds plans turned in a 2.1%-performance for the quarter. Individual US equity managers were able to match the performance of the broad market indices in the quarter, according to the news release.

“Foundations & Endowments outpaced ERISA and Public Funds plans for the year due to their higher strategic allocation to private equity and lower allocation to fixed income,” commented Joe Nardulli, Product Manager, Northern Trust Investment Risk and Analytic Services, in the announcement. “However, most institutional plan sponsors were able to assemble a stable of US equity managers within their plans that were capable of producing group performance that finished ahead of the broad equity indexes over the past year.”

Over the longer term, the median ERISA plan gained 14.5% over three years and 5% over five years for the period ending December 31, 2005, compared to returns of 7.6% and 3.8% for those time frames a year earlier. Public Funds and Foundations & Endowments had showings of 14.7% and 14.6%, respectively, over three years and 6% and 5.5% over five years.

The Northern Trust Universe represents the performance results of more than 300 large institutional investment plans with a combined asset value of approximately $550 billion, which subscribe to Northern Trust performance measurement services.