The median U.S. corporate pension plan's assets dropped 1.1% during the second quarter, reflecting a "challenging market environment," according to Mercer Investment Consulting's latest quarterly study of plan sponsor performance, released today. That decline followed a healthy 4.5% gain for the first quarter, according to Mercer. The median public pension plan's assets slipped 0.9% in the second quarter, following a 5.0% first-quarter gain. Likewise, the median foundation/endowment fund's assets fell 0.9%, after a 5.1% first-quarter gain. Despite those declines for the latest quarter, the median gains for all categories for the year through June 30 remained healthy: 9.6% for corporate plans, 11.3% for public funds and 11.4% for foundations/endowments, according to a news release.
For the latest quarter, Mercer's manager database showed the median large-cap value equity manager's performance slipping 0.2% from the previous quarter, while the median large-cap growth equity manager fell 4.1%. Small-cap managers fared worse, with the median small-cap value manager losing 3.1% and the median small-cap growth manager tumbling 6.6%. The median international value equity manager, meanwhile, gained 0.7% for the latest quarter, while the median international growth equity manager slipped 0.8%.
The study analyzed fund universes provided by Mellon Analytical Solutions. The universes comprised 249 corporate plans, 59 public plans and 142 foundations and endowments.