U.S. foundation and endowment plans returned a median 14.3% for 2006, compared with 13.7% for corporate pension plans and 13.5% for public funds, according to data from Northern Trust. That compares with a median 8.2% return for foundations and endowments in 2005 and a median 7.8% for both corporate and public plans.
The Northern Trust Universe represents performance data from 373 large institutional investment plans that have a combined $640 billion in assets and subscribe to Northern Trust performance measurement services.
Joe Nardulli, product manager for Northern Trust's investment risk and analytical services group, attributed the double-digit returns to a strong equity market overall, particularly in value strategies. "The better-performing plans had a definite value tilt," he said.