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.

We have received a number of emails from readers who were shocked at the revelation, first brought to light on these pages, that, between them, the boards of Livent and Hollinger had seven directors who became convicted felons.  Here’s another gem:  three of them were trained as lawyers.  The number of felon directors on these boards sets a record for modern publicly traded corporations.  For those interested, here’s how the total was calculated:


A. Alfred Taubman, Director (convicted of price fixing, 2001)

Conrad M. Black, Director (convicted of mail fraud, etc., 2007)

Garth H. Drabinsky, Director (convicted of fraud, etc., 2009)

Myron I. Gottlieb, Director (convicted of fraud, etc., 2009)


A. Alfred Taubman, Director (convicted of price fixing, 2001)

Conrad M. Black, Director (convicted of mail fraud, etc., 2007)

F. David Radler, Director (convicted of mail fraud, 2007)

Peter Y. Atkinson, Director (convicted of mail fraud, 2007)

John A. Boultbee, Director (convicted of mail fraud, 2007)


Black, Drabinsky and Atkinson were trained as lawyers.

Gottlieb and Boultbee were trained as professional accountants.

Both Black and Drabinsky, during the time of the crimes for which they have been convicted, were members in good standing of the Order of Canada, the country’s highest civilian honor.  They remain so today. There is no indication if or when they will be stripped of that prized decoration, which, as we have long maintained, is a sad commentary on the distinction, on the men and women or who hold it and, especially, on those who are entrusted with maintaining the integrity of the award.