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.

He was a man of principle, but not to the extent of forgetting that others have principles too.   He was a politician, but always showed he understood life outside Washington and among those who still have to struggle to get by.  And when he grabbed the ball in politics, just as he did when he was the quarterback for the Buffalo Bills, he did it with style, grace and civility.

Former congressman and one-time Republican vice presidential candidate, Jack Kemp, died today at 73 from cancer.  He was the same age my grandfather was when he was taken by the disease.  Jack Kemp had a distinctive voice and way of making a point.  Few ever claimed to have been offended.  But he could still make his point.  And he was, in later life outside politics, a fierce advocate for the power and potential of the individual.  Societies are great.   But so much in life is advanced, whether by innovation, invention or standing up for some cause, by one individual at a time.

His death comes at a time that nearly marks the first-year anniversary of the passing of another tireless booster of the common man, and of all things Buffalo:  Tim Russert.   What made these fellows so memorable is that they were unique.  They had a distinct personality.  They always seemed to have a sparkle in their eyes.  And they understood that there is something precious about every individual.   They connected with us in  a personal way, not just as part of a huge, faceless society. 

These are the kind of people we miss so much, and why we still look desperately for their successors to lead, inspire and illuminate us again.

Well done, Jack.