State of Wisconsin Investment Board, Madison, reported an 8.5% preliminary return for its $67.5 billion fund in 2005, outperforming its customized benchmark return of 8% but down from 12.7% in 2004. The annual average five-year return was 6.3%, and the 10-year return was 9.1%, both ahead of the customized benchmarks for periods ended Dec. 31, 2005.
The one-year return was propelled by strong alternative investment returns. "Private equity investments returned 43.9%, significantly ahead of the 33.1% benchmark," the statement said. Domestic equities returned 6.3%, compared with 6.1% for the Russell 3000 index, the statement added.
The weakness of foreign currencies against the U.S. dollar resulted in global bond performance of -6.3% against a benchmark of -6.9%. It was the worst performing asset class.
SWIB's other trust fund, the $6.4 billion all-stock variable fund, returned a preliminary 8.2% for 2005, outperforming the 8% return of its one-year customized benchmark. The variable fund also returned 12.7% in 2004.