The State Street master trust universe had a median return of 5.3% in the fourth quarter and 12.4% in 2010.
In the last quarter, portfolios with relatively high exposure to U.S. and global equity markets posted the strongest returns, said Tim Houlahan, vice president, global product management, with State Street Investment Analytics, in a telephone interview.
U.S. equity funds led the way in the fourth quarter, with a median 11.8% return, while the median emerging markets equity fund rose 7.2%. For the year, the return for the median emerging market equity fund edged out the median U.S. equity fund return, 19.4% to 17.8%. U.S. fixed-income funds, meanwhile, returned 0.6% for the latest quarter but still managed an 8% return for the year. Hedge funds returned 3.3% for the quarter and 7.2% for the year.
Taft-Hartley plans led the way in the latest rankings, with a median 6.1% return for the quarter and a 13.6% gain for the year. Public plans followed with a median 5.9% for the quarter and 12.7% for the year; along with corporate plans, 5.4% for the quarter and 13.1% for the year; and endowments and foundations, 5.2% and 12.4%, respectively.
The State Street universe contains roughly 19,000 portfolios with nearly $2 trillion in combined assets.