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.

Should Frank Stronach Really Run Chrysler?

Now that Magna’s Frank Stronach has made his bid for Chrysler official, the more fundamental question for investors and other stakeholders is whether the assets of this icon of American capitalism will be well-served in the hands of a mercurial figure who claims that money has no heart, “no soul, no conscience, no homeland“, and who has made his disdain for the labor movement no secret. There is a world of difference between operating a profitable but relatively low profile Canadian-headquartered company like Magna and one of America’s corporate giants. It would be unthinkable for a CEO of an historic American company like Chrysler to boast that, with $52 million in compensation, he was underpaid, as Mr. Stronach did a few years back.

Global companies like Chrysler, for all their economic problems, are still complex institutions with enormous power in society. They carry comparable social responsibilities. It is unclear that Mr. Stronach understands that concept to the extent that Chrysler’s leadership would require, or that he would be prepared to adapt to all the constituencies who have a claim on Chrysler’s decisions and, most decidedly, an influence upon its success or lack of it.

One more thing. If you are looking for an example of progressive corporate governance and board structure, you will not find it at Magna. To the contrary, with Magna’s system of dual class shares, its history of related parties and insiders as directors and its all-male board, the Stronach style of governance is not encouraging. He even chairs Magna’s nominating committee, which is a considerable departure from accepted corporate governance standards.

When Frank Stronach is involved, power is concentrated in Frank Stronach. Would his style work at Chrysler? It’s worth thinking about.