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.

Kudo of the Week: The Courage to Turn the Course in the Middle East

It would be hard for even the most Panlgossian among us not to be a little skeptical about the prospects of long-term stability and peace between Israel and the Palestinian factions. But this week’s extraordinary gathering of Middle East powers in Annapolis gave a glimmer of hope. What was most impressive about it was the relationship of mutual respect that seems to have developed between Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. The two leaders have been meeting secretly, behind the scenes for a while now. You can tell they have a genuine rapport. Both tread on dangerous ground, and the prospect of alienating their own constituencies is real. Courtesy Begin-Sadat Centre for Stragegic StudiesThere is always risk in turning away from conventional wisdom and charting a new direction. In that they follow in the courageous footsteps of Menachem Begin and Anwar Sadat, who also took a giant leap over past battles to make a better future. That, too, culminated in an historic gathering in the United States, at Camp David in 1978. America, at its best, has been a shining force for peace in the world. It will be again.

President George W. Bush and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice also served in a noble tradition as peacemakers as only real leaders can. They deserve the praise they are receiving from many political and geographic quarters.

There is much to be encouraged about by those who gathered at Annapolis from distant and diverse lands and much to be hopeful about when men and women face each other with weapons of understanding, good will and a desire to make peace.