Nearly all the investment funds in the BNY Mellon Master Trust Universe reported positive returns in the third quarter, with a median return of 4.66% for the universe.
Ninety-nine percent of the funds reported positive returns for the quarter, while all but one of the 650 pension plans and endowments and foundations that reported one-year returns reported investment gains for the year ended Sept. 30.
Corporate pension plans had the highest median return for the quarter at 4.94%, followed by public plans at 4.8%; Taft-Hartley plans, 4.48%; foundations, 4.43%; and endowments, 4.17%.
International equity and domestic equity portfolios had the highest third-quarter median returns at 7.32% and 6.19%, respectively, followed by international fixed income at 4.64%; domestic fixed income, 2.65%; and real estate, 2.4%.
There wasn't a lot of change in the investment funds' allocations, although there was some move to derisk in the third quarter, John Houser, vice president and manager of performance and risk analytics at BNY Mellon, said in a telephone interview.
The overall median allocation to domestic equity dropped to 28% from 29% from the previous quarter while international equity dropped to 15% from 16%. There were corresponding increases in domestic fixed income to 28% from 27% and alternatives/other to 24% from 23%.
“It seems like the corporate (funds) dropped 2% on the U.S. equity side, and then the foundations and endowments' (equity allocations) were fairly unchanged. Public plans, they also fell 2% in allocations to non-U.S. (equity) and also gained in real estate. They went up a full percent in allocation,” said Mr. Houser.
“But overall not a lot of change, maybe as folks wait to see what happens at the end of the year,” he said.
The universe comprises 680 defined benefit plans, foundations, endowments and health-care plans. The trusts have a combined market value of more than $2.2 trillion, with an average plan size of $3.3 billion.