Real Estate Boosts Master Trust Returns in Q114

May 13, 2014 ( - The median return of the BNY Mellon U.S. Master Trust Universe was 1.94% for the first quarter of 2014, the third straight quarter of positive results.

The Universe’s median plan was up 11.65% for the 12 months ending March 31, 2014, driven by strong performance from U.S. equities. Corporate plans recorded the highest median return (2.59%) in Q1, followed by endowments (1.91%), foundations (1.81%), public plans (1.78%), health care plans (1.72%), and Taft-Hartley plans (1.55%).

“The difference between the highest and lowest performing plan was a healthy 104 basis points. By asset class, real estate led the way with a 3.07% quarterly gain, but all asset classes were in the black, helping plans across the board. Over the last 12 months, U.S. equities outperformed with a strong 22.91% return, while the U.S. bond segment was relatively flat at 0.07%,” says John Houser, senior consultant for BNY Mellon’s Global Risk Solutions group.

According to BNY Mellon data, 99.5% of plans in the BNY Mellon Master Trust universe returned positive results during the quarter, and 51.5% of plans matched or outperformed the custom policy return for Q1.

U.S. equities posted a quarterly median return of 1.84%, versus the Russell 3000 Index return of 1.97%. Non-U.S. equities saw a median return of 0.72%, behind the Russell Developed ex U.S. Large Cap Index result of 1.34%. U.S. fixed income had a median return of 2.10%, versus the Barclays Capital U.S. Aggregate Bond Index return of 1.84%. Non-U.S. fixed income posted a median return of 2.84%, compared to the Citigroup Non-U.S. World Government Bond Index return of 3.22%. Real estate had a median return of 3.07%, versus the NCREIF Property Index result of 2.74%. 

The average asset allocations in the BNY Mellon U.S. Master Trust Universe for the first quarter were as follows: U.S. equity at 26% (down from 28% in Q413); U.S. fixed income at 26% (up from 24% in Q413); non-U.S. equity at 17%; non-U.S. fixed income at 2%; real estate at 4%; cash at 1%; and alternatives/other at 24%.

With a market value of more than $2.6 trillion and an average plan size of $3.8 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 686 corporate, foundation, endowment, public, Taft-Hartley, and health care plans.