US - Most corporate and public pension plans lost ground in Q4 2007, according to the Wilshire Trust Universe Comparison Service (Wilshire TUCS).
Wilshire TUCS, a cooperative effort between Wilshire Analytics and custodial organisations, provides a benchmark for the performance of institutional assets and includes more than 1,400 plans representing US$3.12tr in assets.
It found institutional investors generally saw their portfolios lose ground in the last quarter of 2007, with the exception of foundations and endowments and non-profits with assets greater than $1bn.
Hilarie Green, CFA, managing director and head of Wilshire Analytics' Performance Reporting division, said: "The negative returns for the quarter are not surprising given the performance of the US equity markets.
"Only foundations and endowments and non-profits with assets greater than $1bn were able to break into positive territory but, even then, just barely with returns of just 0.13% and 0.14%, respectively."
A number of pension schemes have been prompted to lock in gains with a move into bonds after the estimated deficit across FTSE 100 DB pension schemes improved by £36bn, over the 12 months ending 30 June last year, JLT Employment Benefits found.
HM Treasury has agreed in principle to give NEST a £329m contingent liability guarantee in the event of the master trust's wind up or closure.
AMP Capital has set up a dedicated team to help institutional investors, including pension funds, invest in infrastructure through direct equity allocations.