GLOBAL - A Canadian university has launched a programme aimed for pension funds aiming to improve governance and board effectiveness. 

The programme, set up by Toronto University's Rotman International Centre for Pension Management, will also target trustees and board members of long-term investors such as sovereign wealth funds, endowments and national reserve funds.

Among the issues covered by the C$6,950 (€5,150) programme will be fiduciary responsibilities, clarity of roles between board and management, decision-making processes around investment and risk, and compensation policies.

The first programme will be held in November this year, with the second programme to follow in February 2012.

Toronto's international programme reflects the "increasingly complex" management and governance of long-term investors, centre director Keith Ambachtsheer said.

He added: "There is evidence suggesting many governing boards and managements are struggling to keep up with the implications of this growing complexity."

The centre's directors include CPPIB chief investment strategist Don Raymond, PGGM chief executive Else Bose, Washington State Investment Board managing director Teresa Whitmarsh, OTPP chief risk officer Barbara Zvan and Alberta Investment Management Corp chief executive Leo de Bever.