Rotman School of Management

Main Content

Keith Ambachtsheer

Keith Ambachtsheer

    Keith Ambachtsheer

    Adjunct Professor of Finance

    Degrees: Coursework for PhD in Economics, McGill University, 1968-1969
    MA in Economics, University of Western Ontario, 1966-1967
    BA (Hons.) in Commerce and Economics, Royal Military College of Canada, 1961-1965
    Email: Send an email to Keith Ambachtsheer


    Keith Ambachtsheer is Director Emeritus of the International Centre for Pension Management (ICPM). He was founding Director of ICPM 2005-2014, and Editor of the Rotman International Journal of Pension Management 2008-2014. He was founding Academic Director of the international Rotman-ICPM Board Effectiveness Program for board members of pension organizations from 2011-2015; and continues to teach modules in this Program. He is a member of the Scholars Council of Georgetown University’s Center for Retirement Initiatives. Through his firm KPA Advisory Services, he has advised pension and investment organizations, as well as governments and their agencies, on the design, governance, and investment policies of retirement income systems since 1985. He co-founded CEM Benchmarking in 1991. CEM benchmarks the organizational performance of over 400 pension organizations worldwide. Keith has authored four books on pension management. He has been the recipient of awards globally for his work in the pensions, governance, and investments field, and comments regularly on these topics in video, electronic, and print media around the world.

    Non-Academic Positions

    2014-Present  Member, Advisory Group on Retirement Security;Government of Ontario
    2013-Present  Member, Future of Finance Council;CFA Institute
    2008-Present  Member, Network for Sustainable Financial Markets;Melbourne-Mercer Global Pension Index
    2008-Present  Member, Advisory Council;Melbourne-Mercer Global Pension Index
    2000-Present  Member, Investment Advisory Committee;RMC Club Foundation of Canada
    1993-2017  Member, Board of Directors;The Jeffrey Company (USA)
    1991-Present  Co-Founder and Director;CEM Benchmarking Inc.
    1985-Present  Founder and President;KPA Advisory Services Ltd.
    2008-2010  Board Chair;Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation
    2001-2008  Chair, Investment Committee;Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation
    2001-2010  Member, Board of Directors;Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation
    2005-2009  Member, Board of Directors;Canadian Defence Associations Institute
    1988-2008  Member, Advisory Council;Financial Analysts Journal
    2001-2003  Board Chair;Association of Canadian Pension Management (ACPM)
    1998-2003  Member, Board of Directors;Association of Canadian Pension Management (ACPM)
    1988-1992  Founder and Editor;Canadian Investment Review
    1981-1984  Co-Founder and Partner;Pension Finance Associates
    1972-1981  Partner and Research Director;Canavest House
    1969-1972  Investment Analyst;Sun Life Financial
    1965-1968  Member;Canadian Forces

    Selected Publications - Papers

    • Critique of the CFA Curriculum: Guest Viewpoint; Investments and Pensions Europe; Issue: February; 2018
    • Time for Innovation in Federal Government-Sponsored Workplace Pension Plans; C.D. Howe Institute; Issue: March; 2017
    • The CFA Curriculum; Keith's views were covered in articles by Funds1000 Magazine and by Pensions&Investments; Issue: December; 2017
    • The 'Canada Model' for Pension Management; Keith's research findings were covered in articles in The Financial Times, Investments & Pensions Europe and Funds1000 Magazine; Issue: August/September; 2017
    • Revisiting Risk Management; Investment and Wealth Monitor; Issue: Sept/Oct; 2016
    • Making the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan (ORPP) Work; A special study for the Government of Ontario; Issue: February; 2015
    • How Effective is Pension Fund Governance Today, and Do Pension Funds Invest for the Long Term? Findings from a New Survey; A special study in support of the Focusing Capital on the Long Term Initiative; Issue: January; 2015
    • The Evolving Meaning of 'Fiduciary Duty': Are the Boards of Pension Organizations Keeping Up?; Journal of Investment Consulting; Issue: Jul/Aug; 2015
    • How not to ramp up the CPP; Globe&Mail; Issue: March 23; 2015
    • Norway's Government Pension Fund Global: How Should it Be Governed?; An advisory study written at the request of the Norges Bank Governance Review Commission; Issue: December; 2015
    • Revitalizing Pension Investing in Japan: An Assessment of the 2013 Expert Panel Recommendations; A special study for the Nomura institute for Capital Markets Research; Issue: January; 2014
    • Taking the Dutch Pension System to the Next Level: A View from the Outside; A special study for the Royal Economics Society of The Netherlands and Netspar; Issue: September; 2014
    • The Case for Long-Termism; Rotman International Journal of Pension Management; Issue: Fall; 2014
    • Why we need to Change the Conversation about pension Reform; Financial Analysts Journal; Issue: Jul/Aug; 2014
    • Risks of a Prolonged Low Interest Rate Environment for the pensions Sector; with Peter Dungan; A special study for the Global Risk Institute; Issue: August; 2013
    • The Pension System in Finland: Institutional Structure and Governance; An advisory study written at the request of the Finnish Centre for Pensions; Issue: January; 2013
    • Ten Strategies for Pension Funds to Better Serve their Beneficiaries; Rotman International Journal of Pension Management; Issue: Fall; 2013
    • Fixing the Losers' Game: What it will take; Financial Analysts Journal; Issue: May/June; 2013
    • How Should Pension Funds pay their own People?; Rotman International Journal of Pension Management; Issue: Spring; 2011
    • Pension Reform: How Canada Can Lead the World; The 2009 Benefactors Lecture- C.D. Howe Institute; 2009
    • The Canada Supplementary Pension Plan (CSPP): Towards an Adequate, Affordable Pension Plan for All Canadians; An invited study for the C.D. Howe Institute; Issue: No. 265; 2008
    • The Pension Governance Deficit: Still with Us; Rotman International Journal of Pension Management; Issue: Fall; 2008
    • Japan's Government Pension Investment Fund: Should it become a High-Performance organization?; A special study for the Nomura Institute for capital Markets Research; Issue: August; 2007
    • Why We need a Pension Revolution; Reprinted Jan/Feb, 2015; Financial Analysts Journal; Issue: Jan/Feb; 2007
    • Improving Pension Fund Performance; with Ron Capelle and Tom Scheibelhut; Financial Analysts Journal; Issue: Nov/Dec; 1998
    • Moving to a 'Fiduciary' CPP Investment Policy: Two Possible Paths; A special study for the Fed-Prov Working Group on CPP Investment Policy; 1996
    • Canada's 20% Foreign Property Rule: Why and How it Should Be Eliminated; A special study for PIAC and IFIC; 1995
    • Pension Fund Asset Allocation: in Defence of a 60/40 Asset Mix; Financial Analysts Journal; Issue: Sep/Oct; 1987
    • Pension Funds: Rich or Poor?; with Don Ezra; Financial Analysts Journal; Issue: Mar/Apr; 1985
    • The 10% Foreign Property Rule: Why (and How) It Should Be Abolished; A special study for PIAC and ACPM; 1984
    • Can Active Management Add Value?; with Jim Farrell; Financial Analysts Journal; Issue: Nov/Dec; 1979
    • The Ambachtsheer Letter: Research and Commentary on Pension Governance, Finance, and Investments; KPA Advisory Services, 1987- Present

    Selected Publications - Books and Chapters

    • The Future of Pension Management: Integrating Design, Governance, and Investing- Chinese Translation; China Development Press; 2017
    • The Future of Pension Management: Integrating Design, Governance, and Investing; John Wiley & Co.; 2016
    • Pension Revolution: A Solution for the Pension Crisis; John Wiley & Co.; 2007
    • Beyond Portfolio Theory: The Next Frontier; A chapter in 'Bold Thinking on Investment Management: The FAJ's 60th Anniversary Anthology'- CFA Institute; 2005
    • Effective Pension Design: Perception and Reality; A chapter in 'Vergezichten', a book published on the occasion of the retirement of Jean Frijns of ABP; 2005
    • Pension Fund Excellence: Creating Value for Stakeholders; with Don Ezra; John Wiley & Co.; 1998
    • In Whose Interest?; Advisor to the Ontario Task Force on the Investment of Public Sector Pension Funds; 1987
    • Pension Funds and the Bottom Line, Managing the Corporate Pension Fund as a Financial Business; Dow Jones-Irwin; 1985

    Honors and Awards

    2018  Award for Investment Leadership; Hirtle Callaghan & Co.
    2017  The McArthur Industry Pioneer Award; Investment Management Consultants Association (IMCA)
    2014  The Globe's '#1 Knowledge Broker' in Institutional Investing; CIO Magazine
    2013  One of The Globe's '10 Most Influential Academics in Institutional Investing'; CIO Magazine
    2011  Professional Excellence Award for 'Exemplary Achievement, Practice, and Leadership in the Investment Profession'; CFA Institute
    2010  The Lilywhite Award for 'Contributions in the Retirement and Investment Management Fields Which Enhance Americans' Economic Security'; Employee Benefits Research Institute (EBRI)- USA
    2008  James A. Vertin Award for Producing a 'Body of Research of Enduring Value'; CFA Institute
    2007  Outstanding Industry Contribution Award; Investments & Pensions - Europe
    2004  The Arbor Award for 'Individuals Whose Volunteer Work has Added Immeasurably to the Quality of the University Experience'; University of Toronto
    2003  30 'Top Difference Makers'; Pensions and Investments - USA
    1997  20 'Most Influential People'; Benefits Canada
    1994  Roger Murray Award for 'Excellence in Quantitative Research in Finance'; Institute for Quantitative Research in Finance - USA
    1994  Graham and Dodd Scroll for 'Excellence in Research and Financial Writing'; Financial Analysts Journal, published by the CFA Institute
    1987  TSFA 'Best Paper' Award; Toronto Society of Financial Analysts
    1987  Graham and Dodd Scroll for 'Excellence in Research and Financial Writing'; Financial Analysts Journal, published by the CFA Institute
    1985  Graham and Dodd Scroll for 'Excellence in Research and Financial Writing'; Financial Analysts Journal, published by the CFA Institute
    1983  Roger Murray Award for 'Excellence in Research and Financial Writing'; Institute for Quantitative Research in Finance
    1979  Graham and Dodd Scroll for 'Excellence in Research and Financial Writing'; Financial Analysts Journal, published by the CFA Institute

    Login to my account

    © Rotman School of ManagementAASCB