Plans See Negative Returns in Q208

August 14, 2008 ( - The median corporate, public and foundation/endowment plan experienced negative investment results for the second quarter of 2008, according to Mercer.

Mercer’s Summary Performance of US Institutional Portfolios survey found the median corporate plan had a second-quarter loss of 1%. Public plans and foundation/endowment funds lost 0.7% and 0.4% during the quarter, respectively, Mercer said in a press release.

On a one-year basis, corporate plans had losses of 5%, while public plans and foundation/endowment plans lost 4.4% and 3%, respectively. Over a 10-year time frame, all of the plan types had average returns between 5.9% and 6.9% on an annualized basis.

Equity Performance

According to Mercer’s analysis, the median large cap growth manager outperformed its value-oriented counterparts by 490 basis points during the second quarter. The median core large cap manager underperformed its small cap counterpart by 240 basis points over the current quarter. The median core large cap manager lost 0.8% while the median core small cap manager gained 1.6%.

The international equity asset class, as represented by the MSCI EAFE(r) Index, lost 1.9%, outperforming the S&P 500(r) Index, its U.S. large-cap counterpart, for the quarter by a margin of 80 basis points and outperforming on a one-year basis by 300 basis points.

Within the international asset class, the median growth manager outperformed its value counterpart by 200 basis points.

Within the fixed income asset class, the median core fixed income manager outperformed the Lehman Brothers Aggregate Index in the second quarter by 20 basis points.

The median core opportunistic manager outperformed the Lehman Brothers Aggregate Index during the quarter by 40 basis points. The median high-yield manager posted a gain of 1.8% for the quarter.

In assessing international fixed income performance, the median non-US and global manager had a quarterly loss of 4.6% and 3.2%, respectively.

Within the real estate asset class, the median global REIT manager lost 8.8% and underperformed the FTSE EPRA/NAREIT Global Index by 20 basis points. During the quarter the median US REIT manager lost 4.9% and equaled the performance of the FTSE US NAREIT index.

Summary Performance of US Institutional Portfolios may be downloaded free of charge from .