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.

The Vice President of “So”

Only Dick Cheney could make Spiro Agnew look better.


Never have fewer letters signified the arrogance of power and disconnection from reality more vividly than this reply from U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney. He was responding last week to the statement from ABC News’s Martha Raddatz that two-thirds of Americans believe the war in Iraq is not worth it, according to recent polls.

It is a war that has cost hundreds of billions of dollars, destroyed the lives of countless Iraqis, inflamed an already unstable region, sent America’s reputation to a new low around the world, and, most importantly, cost the lives of 4,000 American heroes and left tens of thousands badly injured. Mr. Cheney’s role as an architect of the war is well established. What he has managed to conceal to date is his utter disdain for the American people. This was exposed fully last week in that single-syllable response to a legitimate public concern. This one word from his own lips sums up the man better than entire books will do in the future.

There have been storied figures in American history who have occupied the office of vice president, beginning with John Adams. One can also remember characters from another unpopular war involving a different administration. But not even Richard Nixon’s corrupt vice president, Spiro T. Agnew, displayed such contempt for public opinion as his present day successor.

It takes quite a talent to make Spiro Agnew look better. He may be one of 46 vice presidents to have held the office, but as to the discredit and destruction he has wrought, Richard B. Cheney is in a class by himself.