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.

There has not been much critique of the latest Fed move, the ninth since August, to fix the ailing credit market. We would like to remedy that with the following observation.

The Fed cannot possibly continue to argue that it has given Americans and their policy makers a fair and accurate picture of the economy while making these frequent, unprecedented and horrifically costly interventions.

Americans are not passive and unaffected bystanders in what the Fed does or does not do. They are stakeholders who are entitled to assess its performance and whether it is ultimately acting in the public interest. That means more than what might be expedient for financial institutions, mortgage lenders and hedge funds that are struggling with the consequences of their risk misjudgments and still do not appear to understand the extent of their own folly.

Straight talk, not Fed speak, needs to be part of the intervention, too.

Update: The Fed’s move made a lot of money for some investors and company insiders. The stock of Countrywide Financial, for instance, a big player in the subprime mess, soared 17 percent for the day (Tuesday).

Some of these remarks were posted on The New York Times blog of Floyd Norris, one of our favorite commentators .