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.

Too many posts to handle? If you missed out on a great post from last month, here’s a quick digest of the top posts that you may want to check out:
  • …and the Lunacy that is AIG
    Posted on Monday, March 2nd, 2009 in $700 Billion Bailout – Comments: (0)
    If this is the cost of saving a company that they claim is too big to fail, maybe the alternative should be explored. Loss for Q4 2008$61.66 billionLoss for FY 2008$99.3 billion or $37.84 a share (for shares that are trading at$0.48)Cost of three previous federal bailouts$150 billionCost of fourth bailout today$ 30 billionLoans and credits from the Federal Reserve System$34.5 billionTotal loans, investments and Fed commitments$214.5 billionIt is said this is being done because AIG is too big to fail.
  • AIG Board Strikes Out -Again
    Posted on Tuesday, March 17th, 2009 in $700 Billion Bailout – Comments: (0)
    One might think that in a company that lost $100 billion over the past year and required three taxpayer bailouts totaling $175 billion, its directors would have moved heaven and earth to avoid this kind of reputation-stinging disaster.  As it is, there is little evidence that anyone has even turned on the lights in the boardroom.It’s spring training once more for the AIG Dodgers, otherwise known as the board of directors of the giant insurance company.
  • Bonfire of the Insanities: An Essay on AIG and Wall Street’s Culture of Entitlement
    Posted on Saturday, March 21st, 2009 in $700 Billion Bailout – Comments: (1)
    AIG’s bonuses have become more than just a tipping point for a long simmering resentment over executive compensation.  They have become an entire gravitational force field of umbrage at the greed, arrogance and now horrifically costly stupidity on the part of these Wall Street masters of the universe, as they preferred to be called in times of a calmer CBOE volatility index.
  • Citigroup at Pennies (Updated)
    Posted on Thursday, March 5th, 2009 in $700 Billion Bailout – Comments: (0)
    C itigroup’s common stock dropped below $1.00 this morning. A share of one of the most storied financial institutions in America, with a Dow Index moniker that straddles the globe, now trades in pennies. We have consistently predicted more surprises and greater mishaps as a result of a governance system that has failed to function for years, if it ever did, and a board of directors that long ago lost any shred of credibility.
  • Has AIG Become the Bernie Madoff of the Bailout Boondoggle?
    Posted on Sunday, March 15th, 2009 in $700 Billion Bailout – Comments: (0)
    If the Obama administration and the entire legislative branch are powerless to say no to such outrageous grabs for bonus cash in this failed company, there can be little hope that they will be able to navigate out of the larger financial storm or restore the confidence that is essential for recovery.If there is one face that has come to symbolize the greed, excess and betrayal of the current financial era, it is Bernie Madoff, the self-admitted felon who is now in jail awaiting sentencing for his multi-billion dollar Ponzi scheme.
  • Livent Founders Guilty of Fraud, Forgery
    Posted on Wednesday, March 25th, 2009 in Hot Issues – Comments: (0)
    A Canadian court found Livent founders Garth Drabinsky and Myron Gottleib guilty (on all counts) of fraud and forgery in one of the most high profile white collar criminal cases in recent Canadian history.  We will have more on this stunning development in an upcoming posting.
  • Outrage of the Week: AIG and the Curse of Darkness
    Posted on Saturday, March 7th, 2009 in $700 Billion Bailout – Comments: (0)
    Lack of daylight in boardrooms and in the way business was done on Wall Street and in the financial sector is what brought this company and the world to this perilous and costly state. Darkness and a lack of transparency are still being employed today under the guise of bringing a solution to the problem and in failing to disclose who the real beneficiaries of American taxpayer dollars are.
  • The Other AIG Outrage
    Posted on Tuesday, March 24th, 2009 in $700 Billion Bailout – Comments: (0)
    Secret side deals involving billions in public funds funneled to giant banks is no way to establish confidence or to advance transparency in a crisis that yearns for both.Finally, some in the U.S. Congress have begun to take note of the fact that among the $175 billion in bailouts AIG received, billions were redirected to institutions like Goldman Sachs and Société Générale SA.
  • Vikram Pandit and the Importance of Good Timing
    Posted on Tuesday, March 10th, 2009 in $700 Billion Bailout – Comments: (0)
    Our long held view, as the New York Post noted, is that much of what comes out of the Citigroup boardroom is too slow and too late.  Something of another installment in that department occurred today when CEO Vikram Pandit issued a memo to employees in which he said Citi has been profitable for the past two months.As he outlined in the memo:I am most encouraged with the strength of our business so far in 2009.
  • Why Are AIG’s Directors Still in the Room?
    Posted on Monday, March 2nd, 2009 in $700 Billion Bailout – Comments: (2)
    AIG has a current board of 11 directors. Of those, seven have been on the board since at least 2006 and five have been there since 2005 or before.  Two directors have been around since the 1990s. One of them is Martin Feldstein, who has been in that position since 1987.  He is also a member of President Obama’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board.  If anyone can explain that unique convergence of events, maybe they can tell us when the Dow will be back up to 14000.
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