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.

Edmund Percival Hillary, KG, ONZ, KBE |1919 – 2008

He was not a politician, nor was he a CEO. The conqueror of Mount Everest was something even more rare by the subprime standards of present day: he was a leader.

He gazed upon heights where no man had dared raise his eyes before and scaled their tallest peak. He did it without a golden parachute. There was no fifty-page contract that promised to reward the prospect of failure and ensure a prince’s living for his retirement years. Unlike the corporate titans of today, success for him, and his trusted guide Tenzing Norgay, was a singular effort; there were no legions in far flung offices and plants around the world who did the hard work. And when he ascended the summit of Mount Everest in 1953, public relations departments weren’t required to put a spin on the triumph. There was no chimera to inflate the accomplishment as there so often is in the arenas of business and politics today; nobody cashed in big-time leaving others to discover later that the feat was illusionary, like Enron, or folly, like the current credit fantasy that has propelled so many into the stratosphere and then into the ground. In this quest, you will find no social luminary vying for 15 minutes of fame or boardroom baron whose misguided values would lead to downfall and jail time. Genuine success, like the character that produces it, speaks with a voice that needs neither translation nor amplification.

It is perhaps only the greatest of men and women who can confront danger, straddle risk and rise to the top, yet know that humility and an honest concern for others are among the most accomplishing of attributes by which to live and the defining hallmarks of the authentic individual.

He was not a politician, nor was he a CEO. Sir Edmund Hillary, who died today at the age of 88, was something even more rare by the subprime standards of present day: he was a leader.