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.

Last March we expressed concerns about the Fed’s failure to anticipate the subprime mortgage meltdown. As we said at the time:

We don’t expect the Fed to be omniscient. But we can expect it to see and act on the obvious. It failed to react to the looming subprime disaster. Which begs the question: What else is the Fed missing?

We got the answer last week, when the world’s central bankers led by the Fed’s own $62 billion injection, poured hundreds of billions into the global economy following huge reversals on key North American stock markets and the unraveling of portfolios deep into mortgage backed securities.

This is the largest amount central bankers have put out since the terrorist attacks in 2001 and it comes in the wake of major fears for the stability of the world’s economy. The injections are a substantial gift to banking and investment institutions which, by the way, make huge fees from the sale of securities to central bankers. They are also a lifeline to hedge funds and LBO firms, which need billions in low interest loans to complete their deals and where the payout to their partners is astronomical. What is being done for the homeowners who are the real casualties of these events is less immediately clear.

Several months ago Fed chairman Ben S. Bernanke told a committee of the U.S. Congress that he didn’t expect the meltdown would spread to other parts of the economy. It’s a good thing he isn’t in the business of forecasting the weather, or we might be dealing with snowstorms in August. One concern is that these highly unusual moves suggest a larger problem that has not been disclosed to the public and that some players are cleaning up even from the mess they helped to create. The other is that the Fed lacks the foresight to know what is really happening now, just as it did a few months ago.