Northern Trust Universe Data: Institutional Plans Post Fourth Quarter and Full-Year Gains in 2021

CHICAGO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–U.S. markets ended the fourth quarter of 2021 in record territory with the Dow Jones Industrial Average closing at 36,338, the largest calendar point gain in the benchmark’s history and up 7 .2% for the quarter and 20.9% over the one-year period. The median return for institutional asset holders included in the Northern Trust All Funds Over $100 million plan universe increased 3.5% for the quarter and 14.4% for the one-year period.

The Northern Trust Universe tracks the performance of 380 large US institutional investment plans, with a combined asset value of over $1.4 trillion, that subscribe to performance measurement services as part of the offerings. of Northern Trust’s asset services.

The median return of the Northern Trust Corporate (ERISA) universe for the quarter increased by 2.9%. The Northern Trust Foundation and Endowment (F&E) universe produced a median return of 3.2% for the quarter, while the median return for the Northern Trust Public Funds universe increased by 3.8%.

“While markets remained resilient to the global COVID-19 pandemic, U.S. equity markets hit record highs during the fourth quarter,” said Amy Garrigues, global head of investment risk and analytical services at Northern Trust. “Investors shifted allocations from small-cap stocks to large-cap stocks following clarity from the Federal Reserve that QE reduction would become more aggressive in 2022. This rebalancing has produced strong tailwinds for US stocks. large cap.”

Northern Trust’s US equity program universe produced a median return of 8.1% for the quarter. The large-cap S&P 500 index rose 11.0% for the three-month period. Large cap stocks continued to outperform small cap stocks. The Russell 1000 Large Cap Index returned 9.8% compared to the Russell 2000 Small Cap Index which returned 2.1% for the period. The large-cap growth segment posted the strongest quarterly performance in the US public equity market for the second consecutive quarter, with the Russell 1000 Growth Index returning 11.6% in the quarter.

The median one-, three-, and five-year returns for the Northern Trust ERISA Universal Plan were 7.9%, 14.3%, and 10.4%, respectively. The US bond asset class remains the largest allocation in ERISA plans with a median allocation of 44.8%, which represents a 10% increase over the last ten years. The distribution range of bond asset classes in the universe between the upper quartile and the lower quartile is greater than 40%.

The median multi-period returns of the Northern Trust Public Funds universe for the one, three and five year periods were 14.3%, 14.7% and 11.1% respectively. The median fourth quarter allocations to US and international equities are 33.0% and 14.8%, respectively. The median exposure to US fixed income securities for public funds is 20.0%.

The median one-, three-, and five-year returns for the Northern Trust Foundations & Endowments universal plan were 16.6%, 15.9%, and 11.8%, respectively. The median US stock allocation of the Foundation and Endowment Plan was 21.5% during the quarter. The median allocation to private equity is 20.8%, a 100% increase over the last 5 years.

Universe results at US plan level as of December 31, 2021:

4th trimester 1 year 3 years 5 years


2.9% 7.9% 14.3% 10.4%

Public funds

3.8% 14.3% 14.7% 11.1%

Foundations & Endowments





About Northern Trust

Northern Trust Corporation (Nasdaq: NTRS) is a leading provider of wealth management, asset servicing, asset management and banking services to businesses, institutions, affluent families and individuals. Founded in Chicago in 1889, Northern Trust has a global presence with offices in 22 US states and Washington, DC, and 23 locations in Canada, Europe, the Middle East and the Asia-Pacific region. As of December 31, 2021, Northern Trust had assets under custody/administration of US$16.2 trillion and assets under management of US$1.6 trillion. For more than 130 years, Northern Trust has distinguished itself as an industry leader for its exceptional service, financial expertise, integrity and innovation. Please visit our website or follow us on Twitter.

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