Northern Trust Reports Mostly Gains for US Institutional Plan Sponsors in Q1

April 25, 2006 ( - Most US institutional investors posted solid gains for the first quarter of 2006, according to data from the Northern Trust Universe.

U.S. institutional plans had strong performance in the first quarter, in line with the gains made by all broad market equity indexes,” said Joe Nardulli, Product Manager, Northern Trust Investment Risk & Analytical, in a press release.

Corporate ERISA and Public Fund plans gained 4.7% and 4.5%, respectively, at the median, and Foundation and Endowment plans returned 4.8% at the median. Nardulli said that the exposure to small-cap and international stocks pushed performance, with those asset classes gaining about 13% and 9%, respectively, at the median, compared to 4.2% return for the S&P index.

Over longer time periods, all plan types in the Northern Trust Universe showed steady positive growth in three- and five-year performance numbers for the first quarter of 2006. ERISA plans gained 17% at the median over three years and 7.6% over five years. Public Fund plans returned 17.1% and 8% at the median over the three- and five-year periods. 

Foundations and endowments returned 17.3% at the median over three years and 7.9% over five years. In the fourth quarter of 2005, most plan returns were approximately14.5% over three years and 5.5% over five years at the median.