Master Trust Returns Essentially Flat for 2Q13

August 14, 2013 ( – The median return of the BNY Mellon U.S. Master Trust Universe for the second quarter of 2013 was down slightly at -0.05%.

This is the first negative result since the second quarter of 2012. For the 12 months ending June 30, the median plan returned 11.59%.

“Performance for all plan types within the Universe were relatively flat for the second quarter, as gains in U.S. equities and real estate were offset by losses in other asset classes,” said John Gruber, head of product strategy for BNY Mellon’s Global Risk Solutions group. “Endowments were the best performing segment, with higher allocations to alternatives and real estate, while corporate plans were the lowest performing segment, having the highest allocation to fixed income.”

BNY Mellon also found that:

  • Forty-seven percent of plans in the BNY Mellon Master Trust Universe returned positive results during the quarter. Over the prior 12-month period, 99% of plans were in the black;
  • Thirty-six percent of plans matched or outperformed the custom policy return for the second quarter. For the full year, 21% of plans outperformed the custom policy;
  • Endowments recorded the highest median return for the quarter at 0.37%, followed by foundations at 0.20%.; and
  • U.S. equities posted a quarterly median return of 2.85%, versus the Russell 3000 Index return of 2.69%. Non-U.S. equities posted a median return of -2.00%, behind the Russell Developed ex U.S. Large Cap Index result of -1.23%. U.S. fixed income had a median return of -2.88%, versus the Barclays Capital U.S. Aggregate Bond Index return of -2.32%. Non-U.S. fixed income posted a median return of -3.84%, compared with the Citigroup Non-U.S. World Government Bond Index return of -3.44%. Real estate posted a median return of 2.76%, versus the NCREIF Property Index result of 2.87%.

The average asset allocation in the BNY Mellon U.S. Master Trust Universe for the second quarter was: U.S. equity 28%, U.S. fixed income 26%, non-U.S. equity 17%, non-U.S. fixed income 1%, real estate 3%, cash 1% and alternatives/other 24%.

With a market value of more than $2.2 trillion and an average plan size of $3.6 billion, the BNY Mellon U.S. Master Trust Universe is a fund-level tracking service that can be used to make peer comparisons of both performance and asset allocation results. The Universe consists of 619 corporate, foundation, endowment, public, Taft-Hartley and health care plans.