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.

outrage 12.jpgThe shameful condition of U.S. medical facilities for treating wounded veterans was highlighted this week in what will surely be Pulitzer Prize winning stories for the Washington Post. It symbolizes a culture of betrayal on the part of official Washington that has rightly seen Americans everywhere register their indignation.

But the outrage goes beyond the squalor in certain buildings or even the red tape and run around facing returning military personnel. It is that this was allowed to happen for years without anything being done. During this time, veterans and their families were writing to their members of Congress and senators pleading for action. Yet with all their staff, these political representatives of the people apparently couldn’t be bothered to pull together the same story that virtually fell into the laps of Post reporters Anne Hull and Dana Priest. There was no investigative reporting here. The deploring situation was out in the open for anyone to see.

It is bad enough for the military chain of command to have permitted this situation.  But one likes to think that at least elected officials –and there are enough of them in Washington– are there to serve as a check on executive power especially when it drops the ball. America’s federal lawmakers are busy folks. But they have no higher duty than to ensure that the best treatment and care is provided to those who are sent off into battle and return the worse for it. What happened to the staffs of the armed services committees of Congress or to the committees that oversee veterans affairs? Much is made on both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue about the need to support the troops. But no senator or congressman —Democratic or Republican— it seems cared enough to respond affirmatively to the hundreds of letters they received or to walk over to Building 18 of the Walter Reed medical campus to see what the reporters saw. They, like the officials in charge, let the troops down.

This would be a disgrace anytime. During a time of war, it is an intolerable outrage.