U.S. pension plans, endowments and foundations in the Northern Trust universe had a median 8% gain for the third quarter, rebounding from the median 4.7% loss three months earlier.
The relatively large allocations by endowments and foundations to alternative asset classes, which cushioned their second-quarter declines, left them trailing the gains posted by public and corporate pensions during the latest quarter, according to a Northern Trust news release.
The median gain for endowments and foundations, which reported a composite alternatives allocation of close to 40%, came to 7.4%. Corporate and public pension plans, with composite alternatives allocations of less than 10%, posted median gains of 9.1% and 8.8%, respectively.
Amid this year's dramatic ups and downs, “volatility in institutional plan performance has nearly doubled over the past two years,” William Frieske, senior performance consultant, said in the release.
For the 12 months through Sept. 30, corporate pension plans have posted the biggest median gain of 11.5%, followed by public plans, with 10.4%, and endowments and foundations, with 9.6%.
The universe tracks the performance of about 300 large institutional investment plans with combined assets of $630 billion.