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 President Who Made the Voting Possible

At times history and fate meet at a single time in a single place to shape a turning point in man’s unending search for freedom. So it was at Lexington and Concord. So it was a century ago at Appomattox. –President Lyndon B. Johnson, 1965

At a time when the first African-American has just been elected President of the United States, it is worthwhile to look at some of the other leaders who contributed to President-Elect Obama’s historic journey.

In March, 1965, President Lyndon Baines Johnson addressed a joint session of Congress to urge the passage of landmark voting rights legislation.  While language in parts of the speech is antiquated by today’s standards, it was groundbreaking at the time.  It had an eloquence that foreshadowed some of the thoughts in the victory speech of his successor in Chicago, 43 years later.  The Voting Rights Act was signed into law in 1965.  Without this single piece of legislation, it is doubtful that Mr. Obama could have been elected.  Without it, Johnson believed, America would not endure. 

Here is a clip from President Johnson’s historic speech.  His courageous, and controversial, determination to tear down the barriers between the races and bring the African-American community into the governance of their nation can never be overstated.  He would have been very proud to see an African-American member of his great Democratic party elected to the Presidency  yesterday.  And Americans can be very proud of President Johnson’s role in the soon-to-be 44th President’s success.