Median Total Master Trust Return Continues Positive Streak in Q3 2020


November 19, 2020

Strong equity markets continue to drive positive performance for all plan types during the quarter

NEW YORK, Nov. 19, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- The BNY Mellon U.S. Master Trust Universe returned a median +4.92% in the third quarter of 2020, building on the strong quarterly performance from the second quarter.  


The BNY Mellon U.S. Master Trust Universe offers peer comparisons of performance by plan type and size. It consists of 457 corporate, foundation, endowment, public, Taft-Hartley, and health care plans with a total market value of more than $2.1 trillion and an average plan size of over $7.0 billion. In aggregate, U.S. Master Trust Universe plans reported a one-year return of +8.10%, exceeding the 3-year annualized return of +6.70% and trailing the 5-year annualized return of +8.20% respectively.  


Endowments were the highest performing plan type for the quarter, benefitting from having the highest allocation to Alternative Assets of any plan type. Corporate plans underperformed other plan types; their allocation to U.S. fixed income investments was the highest of all plan types. While U.S. Fixed Income was the lowest performing asset class, all plan types returned to positive performance year-to-date.


"According to BNY Mellon's Asset Strategy View, U.S. equity was the highest performing asset class in the third quarter of 2020 while fixed income performance lagged. Endowment performance was supported by the rebound in alternative asset performance from the second quarter as well as an asset allocation underweight of 20% in U.S. Fixed Income versus other plan types," said Frances Barney, CFA, Head of Global Risk Solutions at BNY Mellon.


Additional Q3 Highlights

  • Less than 1% of plans posted negative results during the quarter
  • Endowments saw the highest median return (+5.66%), followed by Public Plans (+5.34%)
  • U.S. equities posted a quarterly median return of +8.05%, versus the Russell 3000 Index return of +9.21%. Non-U.S. equities saw a median return of +6.77%, compared to the FTSE Developed ex U.S. Net Index result of +5.49%. U.S. fixed income had a median return of +1.50%, versus the Barclays Capital U.S. Aggregate Bond Index return of +0.62%. Non-U.S. fixed income had a median return of +3.16%, versus the FTSE World Government Bond Non-US Index return of +4.59%. Real estate had a median return of +0.28%, versus the NCREIF Property Index result of +0.74%.

BNY Mellon U.S. Master Trust Universe users are now able to take advantage of BNY Mellon Asset Strategy View® as a separate service for additional analysis. BNY Mellon Asset Strategy View layers big data analytics onto detailed asset allocation, performance, and cash flow data for the majority of the BNY Mellon U.S. Master Trust Universe. It provides additional insight into underlying market trends and investor activity.


BNY Mellon U.S. Master Trust Universe Median Plan Returns*
Period Ending September 30, 2020

Number of
Master Trust Total Fund 457 4.92 8.10 8.20 7.83
   Corporate Plans 188 4.03 9.18 8.96 8.40
   Foundations 65 5.27 6.49 7.44 7.17
   Endowments 62 5.66 6.84 7.40 7.27
   Public Plans 87 5.34 7.08 8.14 7.95
   Taft-Hartley Plans 23 4.79 6.96 7.46 7.32
   Health Care Plans 15 2.72 5.84 7.33 -

*All returns are posted gross of fee results.


BNY Mellon Asset Allocation Medians of those invested by Asset Class
Period Ending September 30, 2020

Asset Class
US Equity 20.28% 19.77% 22.57% 21.98%
Non-US Equity 10.95% 12.82% 16.23% 14.52%
Global Equity 5.30% 5.59% 6.12% 5.04%
US Fixed Income 22.82% 23.32% 21.27% 22.57%
Global Fixed Income 1.65% 2.42% 3.04% 3.71%
Non-US Fixed Income 1.95% 2.05% 1.92% 1.93%
TIPS/Inflation Linked Bonds 3.58% 3.35% 2.98% 3.74%
Real Estate 5.33% 5.35% 4.85% 5.46%
Private Equity 10.58% 9.32% 8.23% 9.25%
Other Real Assets 2.15% 2.24% 2.65% 3.33%
Hedge Funds 12.01% 12.93% 14.28% 15.26%
Cash 1.24% 1.19% 1.16% 1.60%


BNY Mellon is a global investments company dedicated to helping its clients manage and service their financial assets throughout the investment lifecycle. Whether providing financial services for institutions, corporations or individual investors, BNY Mellon delivers informed investment and wealth management and investment services in 35 countries. As of Sept. 30, 2020, BNY Mellon had $38.6 trillion in assets under custody and/or administration, and $2.0 trillion in assets under management. BNY Mellon can act as a single point of contact for clients looking to create, trade, hold, manage, service, distribute or restructure investments. BNY Mellon is the corporate brand of The Bank of New York Mellon Corporation (NYSE: BK). Additional information is available on Follow us on Twitter @BNYMellon or visit our newsroom at for the latest company news.


Barclays Capital U.S. Aggregate Bond Index

© Barclays Bank PLC 2016.  This data is provided by Barclays Bank PLC all rights are reserved.


FTSE Non-US World Government Bond, FTSE Developed x US Index, Russell 3000 Index

Source: London Stock Exchange Group plc and its group undertakings (collectively, the "LSE Group"). © LSE Group 2019. FTSE Russell is a trading name of certain of the LSE Group companies. "FTSE®" "Russell®", are trade mark(s) of the relevant LSE Group companies and is/are used by any other LSE Group company under license. All rights in the FTSE Russell indexes or data vest in the relevant LSE Group company which owns the index or the data. Neither LSE Group nor its licensors accept any liability for any errors or omissions in the indexes or data and no party may rely on any indexes or data contained in this communication. No further distribution of data from the LSE Group is permitted without the relevant LSE Group company's express written consent. The LSE Group does not promote, sponsor or endorse the content of this communication.



Paul Patella
BNY Mellon Asset Servicing
+1 212 635 1378


SOURCE: The Bank of New York Mellon Corporation; BNY Mellon Asset Servicing

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