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.

arar-maher-cp.jpgMeet Canada’s newest millionaire. He is Maher Arar, and he earned his money not exactly the old-fashioned way. He was tortured for it. Finally, the government of Canada has moved to correct a terrible injustice involving this Canadian citizen who was pulled off a plane in New York by U.S. authorities in 2002, deported to Syria and tortured there for ten months. And though Mr. Arar went through one of the most exhaustive investigations ever conducted in Canada, which ended in his complete exoneration of any involvement in terrorism and led Canada’s prime minister to make an official apology and the government to cut him a cheque for $10 million, the United States insists that he be kept on its terrorist watch list and prevented from travel to or over the U.S.

No reasons for the decision were given.

It is this kind of unreasonableness that shows America too often has the wrong priorities and the wrong people in its sights in its war on terror. Mr. Arar’s case is one that came to public attention. How many more innocent people that no one knows are on the government’s terror list and are being made to suffer because of it? How many more friends will America lose because of these kinds of actions?

To defend against real terrorists is a necessity. To target those who clearly pose no threat, and have had their lives turned inside out to prove it, is insanity.