Pension Fund Investments and Governance Roundtable

Friday, November 3, 2017 - 09:00 to 11:00
Jackman Law Building, Room J140, 78 Queen's Park


NOVEMBER 3, 2017
University of Toronto Faculty of Law
Jackman Law Building, Room J125

 This roundtable will examine issues facing pension funds including: the challenges that consistently low rates of economic growth pose for pension funds; how pension funds approach regulatory compliance when faced with regulation from multiple jurisdictions; and the rationales that pension funds use when choosing to allocate assets in the public or private market (including the strategies used to find long-term investments and sustainable returns on investments). In addition, the roundtable will focus on the Canadian environment and examine the following questions: 

  • Is the success of Canadian pension plans in alternative asset classes based on their governance models?
  • Is the size or governance model more important to success in this arena?
  • To what extent do pension funds use external advisers in their respective investment activities?
  • Is the use of external advisers dependent on or related to the fund’s governance model? 

Roundtable participants will specifically examine the role that internal legal counsel plays in the day-to-day operation of pension funds and the circumstances in which pension funds choose to retain external legal counsel.  

Edward Iacobucci, Dean and J.S.D. Tory Professor of Law, University of Toronto
Anita Anand, J.R. Kimber Chair Investor Protection and Corporate Governance, University of Toronto

Opening Remarks:
Keith Ambachtsheer, Adjunct Professor and Director Emeritus, International Centre for Pension Management (ICPM), Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto

Michael Kelly, Executive Vice President & General Counsel, OMERS
Matthew Cockburn, Partner, Torys LLP
John Walsh, Managing Director, General Counsel OPTrust
Michael Wissell, Senior Managing Director, Portfolio Construction, OTPPB 

$75 to register. No charge for students. Please contact Nadia Gulezko (by telephone: 416.978.6767 or by  email at who will keep the registration list and provide further information.

Approved for substantive CPD hours. 


Keith Ambachtsheer has been a participant in the pensions and investments industry since 1969. He is recognized as one of the globe’s most original thinkers on pension design, governance, and investing issues. Since its founding in 1985, KPA Advisory Services has become known as a trusted incubator for new thinking in pensions, and for providing strategic advice to a global clientele in person, and through the monthly Ambachtsheer Letter. CEM Benchmarking Inc., co-founded by Keith in 1991, has earned a reputation as the premier benchmarking organization in the global pensions and investments industry. Keith was named "One of the Most Influential People in Pensions" by Pensions & Investments and has received many honours and awards over the course of his professional career. He is cited regularly in the world’s leading financial publications, including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Economist, The Financial Times, and The Globe & Mail. His editorials and articles have been published in the Financial Analysts Journal, the Journal of Portfolio Management, the Rotman International Journal of Pension Management, the Journal of Investment Consulting, and other professional journals. In addition to being closely connected to the business side of the pension and investments industry, Keith has strong ties to its related fields in academia. aiCIO named Keith one of the globe’s "10 Most Influential Academics in Institutional Investing", and he has helped guide the discourse in the field through a variety of academic positions, including: • Adjunct Professor and Director Emeritus, International Centre for Pension Management (ICPM) based at the Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto • Founding Editor, Rotman International Journal of Pension Management • Founding Academic Director, Rotman-ICPM Board Effectiveness Program for Pension and Other LongHorizon Investment Institutions His 4th book, The Future of Pension Management, offers a progress report from the field, referencing case studies from around the world. Using the discipline of integrative thinking, the book shows how today’s pension challenges are best addressed. A Chinese version will be published by China Development Press in October. He has personal governance experience as a member of two corporate boards, and has served as Board Chair of a major medical foundation. He is a member of the Melbourne-Mercer Global Pension Index Advisory Council, the CFA Institute’s Future of Finance Advisory Council, the Georgetown University Center for Retirement Initiatives Scholars Council, and Ontario’s Advisory Group on Retirement Income Security.

Anita Anand is a Professor of Law and holds the J.R. Kimber Chair in Investor Protection and Corporate Governance. She served as Associate Dean from 2007-2009 and since 2010 has served as the Academic Director of the Centre for the Legal Profession at U of T, leading the development of its Program on Ethics in Law and Business. She is a Senior Fellow and member of the Governing Board, Massey College and is cross-appointed to the Rotman School of Management and the School of Public Policy and Governance. 

During the 2009-2010 academic year, Professor Anand was a Visiting Scholar at the Bank of Canada and a Herbert Smith Visitor at the University of Cambridge. In 2005-2006, she was a Canada-U.S. Fulbright Scholar and Visiting Olin Scholar in Law and Economics at Yale Law School. During the Fall 2005, she was a Visiting Lecturer in Law at Yale Law School where she taught comparative corporate governance. In Fall 2017, she was appointed Director of Policy and Research at the Capital Markets Institute, Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto. She is the recipient of research grants from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (three awards), the Law Foundation of Ontario, the Foundation for Legal Research (three awards), the Connaught Foundation as well as the Canadian Association of Law Teachers' Scholarly Paper Award (2003).  In Fall 2004, she received the Queen's Law Students' Society Award for Excellence in Teaching and in Fall 2006, she and co-authors Frank Milne and Lynnette Purda were awarded the Best Paper in Managerial Finance by the International Journal of Managerial Finance for their empirical research relating to corporate governance. 

In 2015, Professor Anand was appointed by Ontario's Minister of Finance to the Expert Committee to Consider Financial Planning Policy Alternatives. She has conducted research for the Five Year Review Committee, the Wise Person's Committee, the Task Force to Modernize Securities Legislation in Canada and the Commission of Inquiry into the Investigation of the Bombing of Air India Flight 182.  She was the inaugural Chair of the Ontario Securities Commission's Investor Advisory Panel (2010-2012) and the president of the Canadian Law and Economics Association (2009-2011). In 2012, she was appointed to the Bertha Wilson Honour Society by the Schulich School of Law for service to the legal profession. Since 2010, she has served on the Chief Justice of Ontario's Advisory Committee on Professionalism. She is the Editor of Canadian Law eJournal, published by the Legal Scholarship Network. Her main research areas relate to the regulation of capital markets with a specific focus on corporate governance, enforcement, capital raising techniques and systemic risk.


Edward Iacobucci is Dean and James M. Tory Professor of Law at the Faculty of Law, University of Toronto. He was appointed to the Faculty as Assistant Professor in 1998, and as Dean in January 2015. Prior to his appointment, he was a Law Clerk to Mr. Justice John Sopinka of the Supreme Court of Canada in 1996-97 and was the John M. Olin Visiting Lecturer at the University of Virginia School of Law in 1997-98. Since his appointment he has been a John M. Olin Visiting Fellow at Columbia Law School in 2002, a Visiting Professor of Law at the University of Chicago Law School in 2003, a Visiting Professor of Law at New York University Law School in 2007, a Visiting Professor of Law at Tsinghua University in 2010, and a Visiting Professor of Law at National University of Singapore in 2014. Professor Iacobucci received his B.A. (Hons.) in economics from Queen's University in 1991, his M.Phil. in economics from the University of Oxford, which he attended as a Rhodes Scholar (Ontario) from 1991-1993, and his LL.B. from the Faculty of Law, University of Toronto in 1996. Professor Iacobucci's teaching and research interests include corporate law and governance, securities law, corporate finance, competition policy, and law and economics more generally. He has authored and co-authored numerous scholarly articles and books in Canada and internationally on topics that include corporate law, corporate governance, corporate finance, securities law, competition policy and regulation. He has taught courses in corporate and securities law, corporate finance, comparative corporate governance and competition policy.


Michael Kelly was appointed Executive Vice President & General Counsel at OMERS in September 2014. In this role, he oversees OMERS Legal Division and is involved in various matters relating to pension and investment law, regulatory affairs and corporate governance. Mr. Kelly is actively involved in Board and Committee functions and oversees the Board Secretariat. Prior to assuming this role, Mr. Kelly served as Executive Vice President & General Counsel at Borealis Infrastructure, OMERS infrastructure investment arm, which he joined in 2006. In that role, he was involved in the pursuit and management of infrastructure investments, including negotiating acquisition, partnering and financing agreements, coordinating regulatory and structuring advice and managing the legal and compliance function. Prior to joining Borealis, Mr. Kelly practiced corporate, commercial and regulatory law, both in-house and with firms in Toronto, London, England and Ottawa. Mr. Kelly was called to the Bar in Ontario in 1994. He holds a Bachelor of Business Administration (Honours) from Wilfrid Laurier University (1989), an LLB from the University of Toronto (1992), and an MA (International Relations) from the University of Toronto (2004). He also holds the designation of Chartered Director (C. Dir) from McMaster University (2012).

John Walsh was appointed to the Executive Team as Managing Director, General Counsel in January 2015. Mr. Walsh joined OPTrust in 2006 as an investment professional in OPTrust’s Private Markets Group, responsible for transaction negotiation, structuring and execution, corporate governance and operations. As Managing Director, General Counsel, Mr. Walsh provides legal counsel to all of OPTrust and oversees all corporate governance, compliance, enterprise risk management and transactional structuring matters. Before joining OPTrust, Mr. Walsh practiced corporate and securities law for a decade at two leading Canadian law firms. Mr. Walsh has also worked at the senior levels of politics and government in Canada and the United States. 

Michael Wissell leads the Portfolio Construciton group, which works to ensure that the returns from the collective assets within the plan are sufficient to meet or exceed the required real return of the plan over the medium term. In addition, his key accountabilities include delivering on the investment plan, asset modeling, providing recommendations to the Chief Investment Officer on the detailed asset mix policy and changes, benchmarks, and allocations for capital and risk.

Michael joined Ontario Teachers’ in2002 with more than 15 years of capital markets experience.  He was most recently Senior Vice-President, Public Equities.  Prior to that role, he was Senior Vice-President, Tactical Asset Allocaiton and Natural Resources, where he played an important role in Ontario Teachers’ development of that asset class.  He holds a B.Comm. from Carleton University, an MBA from McMaster University, an ICD.D designation from the Institute of Corporate Directors and is a CFA charterholder.