Institutional asset owners in the Northern Trust universe returned a median 3.3% in the third quarter, marking the eighth consecutive quarter of investment gains, and up from a median 3% return in the previous quarter, said data released Tuesday.
Among plan types, public defined benefit plans posted the highest quarterly return at 3.6%, followed by corporate plans at 3.2% and foundations at endowments, 3.1%.
"A relatively large allocation to international equities in public funds helped buoy returns as non-U.S. stocks were the best-returning asset class in the third quarter," said Bill Frieske, vice president and senior investment performance consultant for Northern Trust's investment risk and analytical services group, in a news release. "Public funds had a median allocation of almost 17% to non-U.S. equities, while corporate ERISA plans and foundations and endowments both had allocations closer to 12%."
For the three months ended Sept. 30, plans in the Northern Trust universe posted a median 8.3% return for international small-cap equity, 6.4% for emerging markets equity, 5% for total equities, 2.5% for private equity and less than 2% for fixed income and real estate.