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.

“Our entire economy is in danger.”

Whether the threat to the economy is as it was portrayed with unprecedented grimness by President George W. Bush last night, or whether it is another version of the mushroom cloud scare that was used to force agreement over the ill-fated invasion of Iraq, American law makers will have to decide.

What adds to the trouble, if the economy now stands on the precipice of disaster, is that precisely the same policy makers, regulators and financial actors who allowed the crisis to reach this point now claim to have the answers.  And Wall Street, which was central to the creation of the subprime problem, will now be key to its resolution, or so it is asserted.  Skepticism is an appropriate litmus test for discovering reality.

Few -even its earliest critics- expected the war in Iraq to be so costly in lives and treasure.  Are the seeds of similar folly being sewn in the staggering $700 billion bailout plan?   Will the greed, shortsightedness and shortcomings in governance and oversight that are the hallmarks of this disaster also infect the plan for economic survival?  And what will be done to ensure they do not?

On the correct answers the fate of countless millions depends.