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.

America’s brief romance with what has been the closest thing to political Camelot since the Jeffersonian era began this night exactly 50 years ago, with the narrow election of John F. Kennedy to the presidency.  It would not be until early the next day before it was certain that Mr. Kennedy had actually defeated Richard M. Nixon.  President Kennedy’s margin of victory was small, a mere 112,000 votes.  But fate on that night had a monumental-scale drama in store for both men and the nation they eventually led.

Little on these pages can add to what has already been written about the sense of optimism that came with the Kennedy presidency, its commitment to excellence in bringing in gifted men and women to public service and a unique style of words, dress and culture that transformed the White House into a glittering showcase that inspired much of the world.

The achievements in that short 1000 days of America’s 35th president ranged from setting a goal to place a man on the moon by the end of the 1960s, (done); signing a comprehensive test ban for above ground nuclear weapons (still in force) and causing the Soviet Union to remove nuclear weapons from Cuba (which it never placed there again).  It is hard not to see how the world is better off.  It also brought to public service a whole range of personalities and individuals who continued to contribute for decades.  The last of them, Ted Sorensen, passed away a week ago.

What was created on this night, November 8, back in 1960 seems far in the past now.  But its faint echoes still ignite the hearts of millions who believe that there can and should be something ennobling in the leadership of a great land, that politics is a high calling, that doing things well and with precision is an achievable goal even in government and that the dream of a better life is something that awaits to be summoned up in all of us.