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KPA’s quest to deliver a regular stream of ‘out-of-the-box’ thinking on pension design, governance, and investing took root over four decades ago. I was hired by Sun Life Financial in 1969 to determine if the brand-new Modern Investment Theory of the day had anything useful to offer on the investment side of insurance and pension plan balance sheets.

With the help of a team of academics who were virtually unknown at that time, including Harry Markowitz, Bill Sharpe, Jack Treynor, Burt Malkiel, and Peter Bernstein, I came to the conclusion that the answer was a resounding ‘yes’.

All these years later, I am still in the business of theory-to-practice translation, although now in the larger space of pension design, governance, and investing. This transition was triggered by Peter Drucker’s 1976 book on the future of pensions: “The Unseen Revolution”. Over the course of the last four decades, it has been quite a ride, integrating the thinking of thought-leaders such as John Maynard Keynes, Jan Tinbergen, Paul Samuelson, George Akerlof, Daniel Kahneman, and Roger Martin into an ongoing search for ‘the better way’.

One of the most important lessons I’ve learned is that this ‘better way’ journey never ends. There are never final ‘best’ answers to pension design, governance, and investing challenges - only better ones. Thank you for joining me in this ongoing quest.    

- Keith Ambachtsheer