Institutional investors in the BNY Mellon Master Trust Universe returned a median 3.68% for the first quarter and 13.13% for the 12 months ended March 31.
The results mark the third consecutive quarter of positive returns for the universe.
The quarterly median return was down from 5.6% in the fourth quarter.
“It's a good start to 2011,” Greg Stewart, managing director and regional product manager of BNY Mellon Asset Servicing, said in a telephone interview. “Almost all of the plans posted positive quarterly returns and 12-month returns.”
U.S. equities were the best-performing asset class for the quarter with a median return of 6.49%, followed by international equities at 3.15%, international fixed income at 1.9% and U.S. fixed income at 0.97%.
For the full year, corporate pension plans had the strongest investment performance, with a median return of 13.51%.
The average asset allocation for the universe was 33% U.S. equities, 26% U.S. fixed income, 17% international equity, 10% alternatives, 2% each international fixed income and real estate, 1% cash and 9% other investments.
The universe comprises 749 corporate, public and Taft-Hartley defined benefit pension funds; foundations and endowments; and health-care plans. The plans have a combined market value of $1.41 trillion and an average plan size of $1.88 billion.