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Largest Institutional Investors See Best Third Quarter Performance According To The Wilshire Trust Universe Comparison Service

Master Trusts and Public Funds with Assets Greater than $5 Billion See Median Return of Nearly 12 Percent

The largest institutional investors racked up the best median returns during the third quarter of 2009 with master trusts with assets greater than $5 billion and public funds with more than $5 billion both seeing median returns of 11.88 percent for the quarter. For the year ended September 30, 2009, corporate funds fared the best with a 2.08 percent median return followed by corporate plans with greater than $1 billion in assets tallying a median return of 1.61 percent, according to the Wilshire Trust Universe Comparison Service.

Wilshire TUCS, 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 approximately 1,100 plans representing $2.25 trillion in assets.

“Once again plan size was a big determinant of return for the quarter with Master Trusts with more than $ 5 billion returning 11.88 percent, Master Trusts with more than $1 billion returning 11.35 percent and those with less than $1 billion returning 9.99 percent,” said Hilarie C. Green, CFA, managing director and head of Wilshire Analytics’ Performance Reporting division.

“Interestingly, over longer time periods and market cycles, the ‘size effect’ evens out resulting in similar returns for the ten-year period ending September 2009 of 4.35 percent, 4.49 percent, and 4.28 percent, respectively.” Taft Hartley funds continued to languish in negative territory for the one-year period with all Taft Hartley plans tallying a median return of -1.01 percent while with those with more than $1 billion in assets saw a -0.92 percent median return. Foundations and endowments with assets of more than $1 billion had an annual median return of 1.28 percent followed closely by all foundations and endowment and all public funds coming in at one-year median returns of 1.27 percent. Public funds with more than $5 billion, all master trusts with assets topping $5 billion and public funds
with greater than $1 billion all had one-year median returns of 0.51 percent.

The United States stock market, as represented by the Wilshire 5000 Total Market IndexSM rallied strongly in the third quarter, climbing 16.12 percent to extend its rally since the March 9, 2009 recent low to 60.62 percent. The market value gain for the third quarter was approximately $1.7 trillion. The Wilshire Global Total Market IndexSM saw a quarterly gain of 18.24 percent while the
Wilshire Global exUS IndexSM was up 19.59 percent during the third quarter.

“A review of the Wilshire TUCS Style Analysis shows us that both the Wilshire TUCS Equity Style and Wilshire Fixed Style Analyses showed a great range of returns between styles for the September quarter. The equity portfolios ranged from 14.00 percent for Large Growth to 22.61 percent for Small Value and the fixed income portfolios ranged from 1.41 percent for Short Term to 11.11 percent for High Yield,” Green concluded.