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 precipitous drop in the Dow Jones index on Tuesday because the Fed lowered interest rates by a quarter point, instead of a half, shows the extent of the disease with which Wall Street has become afflicted. It is behaving like a cocaine addict who cannot live without a constant fix, in this case of cheap money. Each time it gets a rate reduction it can only perform for so long before it starts thinking about the next one and soon gets very jittery. If the amount delivered does not meet with the street’s expectations, it goes into a total panic.

The reaction also manifests Wall Street’s other disorder: the need for risk to have little place in the decision making process because credit, at least for a select few, is so plentiful. Lower interest rates provide a way for the big players to load up on debt in order to do a lot of things to take the focus off the subprime fiasco they created. It is worth noting, though Wall Street clearly does not, that it was a fiasco born in a significant fashion by the availability of cheap money thanks to the Greenspan era at the Fed, where risk, it seemed, took a holiday.

Two percent plunges in the stock market should be reserved for cataclysmic disasters and major reversals of economic or political fortune -not a show of pique because interest rates that have been obligingly in decline over the past several months haven’t quite slipped out of sight altogether. It’s time Wall Street had an intervention by some experienced tough love adults to help it get back to reality and stop being hooked on the false euphoria that comes from Fed-dependent cheap money.