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.

We Will Remember Them

Observing the day the First World War ended, and honoring the sacrifice of freedom’s heroes today.

On November 11th, ninety years ago today, the guns that began their unrelenting shattering of Europe in August of 1914 fell silent. The Great War –as it was first called- that claimed some 20 million lives, was over. Could the young men who fought on those muddy fields, where the names Vimy Ridge, Ypres, and the Somme live through history in a thousand monuments and in bronzed rolls of names, ever have imagined that, nearly a century later, their great, great-grandchildren would once more be fighting against tyranny and intolerance?

Much has changed in the world since 1918, but the willingness of the sons and daughters of democracy to serve when called has not.  We remember their heroism and their sacrifice and that of their families who so many years ago, and still today, have been called upon to give in the ultimate sacrifice that freedom can demand.

We will remember them.

Remembrance Day | 2007

William Ivor Castle/National Archives

In 1917, the best a generation had to offer fought bravely to defend freedom and the ideal of a civilized society. In 2007, another generation serves that cause in a far off land. Time and again we have called upon young heroes who are willing to make the ultimate sacrifice for others. Time and again they answer that call. We are not always as fortunate in our choice of leaders who possess the vision and ability to avoid situations where such sacrifices become necessary.

We salute, as always, those who have served and fallen and those who serve today. But we think we honor them best by being true to the principles of freedom and democracy which require vigilance on the part of citizens as to whom they permit to lead them and the kind of qualities they ensure are brought to that great trust.

Lest We Forget


“Take these men for your example. Like them, remember that prosperity can be only for the free, that freedom is the sure possession of those alone who have the courage to defend it.”


Observance of what in Canada is called “Remembrance Day” occurs every November 11th. It is a time of year that is set aside to remind those who benefit from freedom of the ultimate sacrifice of the many who made it possible. Their sacrifice continues even today in fields that lie on the other side of the world.

Nothing can ever be done, no matter how deeply the words may be chiseled into the most timeless rock, to adequately reflect the heroism of the countless young men and women who have answered the call to duty. Their sacrifice is also honoured by those who serve the cause of freedom in other ways. Though they wear no uniform and no badge of rank, ordinary citizens who hold those who exercise power to account for its proper use, who demand transparency and openness in the conduct of the public’s business and are intolerant of accusations that to question the over reach of government and the erosion of civil rights and personal privacy is unpatriotic, also do justice to that sacred trust. They, too, are the enemies of tyranny and the sentries of freedom.

There are battles to defend freedom around the world. There are also battles at home to preserve it.