There is no substitute for a culture of integrity in organizations. Compliance alone with the law is not enough. History shows that those who make a practice of skating close to the edge always wind up going over the line. A higher bar of ethics performance is necessary. That bar needs to be set and monitored in the boardroom.  ~J. Richard Finlay writing in The Globe and Mail.

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 in testimony before the Standing Committee on Banking, Commerce and the Economy, Senate of Canada.

The Finlay Centre for Corporate & Public Governance is the longest continuously cited voice on modern governance standards. Our work over the course of four decades helped to build the new paradigm of ethics and accountability by which many corporations and public institutions are judged today.

The Finlay Centre 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. He coined the term stakeholder capitalism in the 1980s.

We pioneered the attributes of environmental responsibility, social purposefulness and successful governance decades before the arrival of ESG. Today we are trying to rebuild the trust that many dubious ESG practices have shattered. 


We were the first to predict seismic boardroom flashpoints and downfalls and played key roles in regulatory milestones and reforms.

We’re working to advance the agenda of the new boardroom and public institution of today: diversity at the table; ethics that shine through a culture of integrity; the next chapter in stakeholder capitalism; and leadership that stands as an unrelenting champion for all stakeholders.

Our landmark work in creating what we called a culture of integrity and the ethical practices of trusted organizations has been praised, recognized and replicated around the world.


Our rich institutional memory, combined with a record of innovative thinking for tomorrow’s challenges, provide umatached resources to corporate and public sector players.

Trust is the asset that is unseen until it is shattered.  When crisis hits, we know a thing or two about how to rebuild trust— especially in turbulent times.

We’re still one of the world’s most recognized voices on CEO pay and the role of boards as compensation credibility gatekeepers. Somebody has to be.

The Inauguration of the 44th President of the United States

And so America begins a new chapter in the experiment conceived by an unlikely collection of farmers, soldiers and gentlemen who placed everything they had on the line for the liberty they cherished above all.   The inauguration of the first African-American as the 44th President of the United States is one of those rare sea-changing events that has managed to capture the imagination of so many in America and around the world.  Where the flight of history and its more fickle companion called fate will ultimately take Mr. Obama and the nation he will head is, at this point, unknowable to us.  But a remarkable surge of events that could not have been thought of, much less predicted, even a year ago, appears underway that is carrying America and beyond to a very different place in the history of modern governance.  Few presidents have arrived in office on the wings of such goodwill and cheerfulness.  Fewer still have stood to take their oath at such a defining moment of profound economic unease.   

It is the duty of each generation to rekindle the flame of hope that beats within the human heart from birth.  For some generations, this means defending freedom at a time of peril.  America’s founders took their stand on that ground, as do its sons and daughters today serving, with their Canadian and British counterparts, in Afghanistan.  For other generations, the challenge comes in creating and building and in stirring the seeds of innovation that can unburden people from disease, from hunger and from drudgery.  Both kinds of challenges face America today.  The forces arrayed may be formidable, but around the world there is a common desire to see America succeed as there has seldom been before.  And for the first time perhaps in generations, a feeling abounds that a new flame of hope is also being inaugurated in Washington today.   In that flame, and in the man whom destiny has charged to hold it, we see a glimmer, perhaps even the prospect, of a brighter, more peaceful and more confident planet. 

This is perhaps what can happen when a man is judged by the content of his character, as the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. taught, at long last.