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Wilshire Trust Universe Comparison Service Reports Institutional Investors' Performance Improves, but Still in Negative Territory for First Quarter of 2009

While the performance of institutional investors' portfolios improved during the first quarter of 2009, all categories were all still in negative territory with corporate plans with assets of more than $1 billion suffering the worst median performance at a -7.09 percent for the quarter. The one-year median rate of return for these same plans was -25.45 percent, according to the Wilshire Trust Universe Comparison Service.

Foundations and endowments saw the best median quarterly returns at -4.78 percent with an annual return of -25.71. The median performance of all master trusts for the year ended March 31, 2009 was -24.71 percent with a quarterly return of -5.53 percent. The median performance of corporate pension plans was -26.00 percent for the year and -6.31 percent for the quarter while public pension funds median performance was -25.93 percent for the year and -5.92 percent for the first quarter. The quarterly median return for Taft Hartley funds was -5.14 percent with the one-year at -22.66 percent. ), a cooperative effort between Wilshire Analytics, the investment technology unit of Wilshire Associates, and custodial organizations. Wilshire TUCS, the most widely accepted benchmark for the performance of institutional assets, includes nearly 1,200 plans representing $2.43 trillion in assets.

The quarterly median rates of return for all master trusts and public pension plans with assets greater than $5 billion were identical at -6.57 percent with those same public plans reporting median one-year performance of –27.55 percent and all master trusts doing somewhat better with a median annual return of -27.20 percent.

“The U.S. stock market posted a disappointing –10.56 percent return in the first quarter of 2009, its sixth consecutive down-quarter and the longest such streak in the 28-year history of the Wilshire 5000SM Index, noted Hilarie C. Green, CFA, managing director and head of Wilshire Analytics’ Performance Reporting division. “However, the news wasn’t all bad during the quarter, as U.S. stocks advanced 8.70 percent in March, which was the Wilshire 5000’s largest monthly return since Dec 1991. From its low on March 9, the market rallied an impressive 18.45

percent to close the quarter. Had it not been for this upswing, the Wilshire TUCS numbers we are reporting today would have dipped further into negative territory.”

Green noted that according to the Wilshire TUCS Equity Style Analysis, small cap value stocks had the worst performance for the first quarter of 2009 with a median total return of -15.19 percent.

“The best performance came from mid cap growth managers which reported a median rate of return of -4.39 percent followed by large growth managers with a -4.84 percent median performance,” Green stated. “Overall, the equity managers represented in Wilshire TUCS had a quarterly median rate of return of -9.92 percent and an annual median performance of -37.24 percent. For the year, although the median rate of return was a dismal -34.02 percent, large growth had the best showing while mid cap value had the worst at -40.50 percent,” she added.