THE FINLAY CENTRE FOR CORPORATE & PUBLIC GOVERNANCE
An Enduring Mission Built on Four Decades of Achievement
Stakeholder capitalism makes its first public appearance in 1983.
“Today there is a host of new players who also have a claim on business and the determinants of its legitimacy. They are consumer activists, environmental watchdogs, social responsibility advocates, champions of women’s rights in business and in society, and ethical investors, to mention a few.
They are called stakeholders because, while most may not own stock, they believe they are, by virtue of the power a corporation holds, just as invested in what companies do — or do not do — that affects the lives, health, economic well-being, ecosystem and human rights of everyone. They are determined to use their influence to change the way companies do business by working inside the system of capitalism itself.
Smart boards of the 1980s should begin to take note of the rising tide of what I have been calling stakeholder capitalism. It portends a sea change in the way the whole world of business works, just as Ralph Nader and Rachel Carson did for car makers and chemical producers”.
~ J. Richard Finlay, excerpt from a speech to The Conference Board of Canada, “The Board of Directors: Coping with Changing Expectations,” November, 1983.
Who we are
The Finlay Centre for Corporate & Public Governance is the first and oldest independent think tank dedicated to advancing higher standards of ethics, transparency, social purposefulness and accountability in major corporations and public institutions. We were trailblazing these attributes long before the arrival of ESG. And we coined the term stakeholder capitalism in the 1980s.
The Finlay Centre for Corporate & Public Governance was founded by J. Richard Finlay, one of the world’s most prescient voices for sound boardroom practices, sanity in CEO pay and the ethical responsibilities of trusted leaders.
To illuminate the promise of sound governance and trusted leadership — and the ethical practices that shape it.
Our record of accomplishment
We hold a unique track record of major contributions to modern governance standards. With unmatched prescience in foreseeing the consequences of their absence and predicting the downfall of countless corporations and public players, we bring a skill set and perspective unlike any other think tank. Now in our fourth decade, we are one of the world’s longest and continuously cited voices championing a culture of integrity in the boardroom, sanity in CEO pay and trusted leadership in a time of turbulence.
Our sustaining vision
By contributing to the evolution of private enterprise and public trust, we add value to business and society and to the common humanity we all depend upon for the future our civilization and our planet deserve.
Illuminating the evolution of private enterprise and public trust over four decades. The Finlay Centre for Corporate & Public Governance is the first and longest running think tank of its kind capturing the promise of the well-governed organization and the ethical practices that shape it.
“For every major corporate policy, decision or public explanation, more and more people are asking: Is it right? Is it fair? And most perplexing of all for the board of directors: is it in the public interest?
It now seems clear that the profitability and economic performance of a corporation will increasingly cease to be the sole criteria by which it is judged. A new set of legitimizers of public consent is coming to the fore, accelerated and strengthened by the harsh realization of the fragile interdependence that links our economy, our society and our environment.” ~J. Richard Finlay, Business Quarterly, 1979.
J. Richard Finlay, Business Quarterly, 1979.
(Presaging the arrival of ESG by more than 40 years)
“Sound governance is not some abstract ideal or utopian pipe dream. Nor does it occur by accident or through sudden outbreaks of altruism. It happens when leaders lead with integrity, when directors actually direct and when stakeholders demand the highest level of ethics and accountability.”
J.Richard Finlay — Addressing the Standing Committee on Banking, Commerce and the Economy, The Senate of Canada, 1994, one of a number of apperances before the committees of the Parliament of Canada.
J. Richard Finlay was the first witness ever to be designated an expert in corporate governance by the Senate Banking committee.
The Financial Times, August 2023
The New York Times, August 10, 2023