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.

Listening to today’s late afternoon webcast of RIM’s preliminary third quarter results was like being taken back to the era when analysts acted more like cheerleaders than objective examiners of the corporation’s health and financial results. Not a single question focused on RIM’s stock option problems. No one asked why the board’s internal investigation was taking so long, why the OSC was recently told that the resulting adjustment would be “significantly higher” than originally expected or what that was likely to mean. Amazingly, the topic of whether RIM would continue to issue stock options to non-management directors in the face of IBM’s much praised move to eliminate them wasn’t even raised. Judging from this show, we have moved back to a time when corporate governance doesn’t figure into the analysts’ equations. Almost every question started off with effusive congratulations to management for their stellar accomplishments. By the soft nature of the questions and unchallenging acceptance of the answers, it seemed more like RIM’s public relations department on the call.

RIM’s short-term results were impressive. But as we have learned from painful experience in recent years, that is only part of a company’s picture. And as was so often the case in the past, it was the questions not asked about matters not considered important that caused the greatest pain to investors.