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 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 sort out the mess that many dubious ESG practices are causing.


We were the first to predict seismic boardroom flashpoints and downfalls, played key parts in regulatory milestones and warned about game changing upheavals in capital markets.

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.

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.

200px-Jrobinson.jpgOne of the marvelous things about the game of baseball is that its heroes are so often a metaphor for the virtues of a well lived life. Babe Ruth overcame a broken family and a childhood spent in orphanages to swing his way into America’s homes. Then there was the Yankees’ great Lou Gehrig, whose farewell address remains the epitome of a generosity of spirit and grace even when facing the darkest personal crisis. These were some of the lessons my late father, whose birthday is today, taught me. In his own way, he defined for me the ideal of the courteous and civilized gentleman —a concept itself that seems to be vanishing as fast as its adherents.

Sunday saw the 60th anniversary of Jackie Robinson’s starting with the Brooklyn Dodgers. As the first African American to play in the Major League, he taught us all something about character, determination and fairness and did it in a way that impressed everyone with his tremendous skills. This was not just the first man of color (as he was known at the time) to play in the big leagues. This was a giant who enlarged the whole game and the vistas that others saw for their lives.

For all the trailblazers who set a course upon uncharted and sometimes unfriendly waters —the women who sought, and still seek, equality of opportunity; the icons and foot soldiers of the civil rights movement; the champions of change who today are trying to save the planet; and the activists who are seeking to hold the powerful to account and standing against poverty and oppression in their communities and in far flung regions of the world— Jackie Robinson was, and remains, a shining symbol of courage and hope.

On Sunday, in homes and in hearts across the world, as it was in stadiums throughout America, we were all proud to call ourselves Number 42.