According to a Mercer IC press release, the summary found gains in all equity markets during the quarter. However, International equity markets, as measured by the MSCI EAFE Index, which gained 4.1% during the first quarter, outperformed US Equity by 3.5%. International equities also outperformed Global equities, which gained 2.5% for the quarter.
The S&P 500 Index gained 0.6%, while the fixed income asset class turned in a positive quarter with the Lehman Aggregate Bond Index posting a 1.5% gain, the press release said. Money market instruments rose 1.2%, as measured by the three-month T-bill rate, while the balanced asset class, using a benchmark of 60% S&P 500/40% Lehman Aggregate Bond, posted a gain of 1.0%.
During the first quarter, growth funds outperformed value funds, the Mercer IC summary showed. The median large cap growth fund posted a gain of 1.2% compared to a gain of 1.1% for the median large cap value fund. Meanwhile, the median small cap growth fund outperformed the median small cap value fund by a margin of 50 basis points.
Small cap funds outperformed their large cap counterparts for the quarter, as the median small cap fund gained 3.0% for the quarter versus a gain of 1.1% for the median large cap fund.
Though International equities were the top performers for the quarter, the median international equity manager underperformed the index by 40 basis points during the first quarter of 2007. The median emerging markets manager gained 2.2% for the quarter and underperformed the index by 10 basis points, while the median core fixed income fund equaled the index for the first quarter.
The Defined Contribution Universe Summary, issued quarterly, analyzes returns of various funds and helps institutional investors evaluate their mutual fund managers’ performance against other funds and asset class benchmarks. The report can be downloaded free of charge at www.MercerIC.us .