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.jpgIn the richest country on the planet, where the average CEO makes in a day what it takes the average worker a year to earn, the United States Senate decided to play political games this week with the country’s most vulnerable citizens and killed a bill that would increase the hourly minimum wage to a paltry $7.25 over two years. The current federal minimum wage is $5.15 and has not been raised in more than a decade. During this time, the rich have enjoyed unparalleled gains in wealth, taxes on upper incomes have been cut, and CEOs have benefited from the largest transfer of wealth of its kind in the history of the world. The working poor –and let my conservative friends note that we are talking about American workers here, not deadbeats or welfare cheats– have, it seems, too few allies in the halls of an institution that should be their salvation, if any should. And so their effort to make their way in the world, to play by the rules and to work hard, suffers another setback.

It is a shame beyond description that millions of Americans are left to struggle with pennies more than $5 an hour in a land forged upon principles of opportunity, fairness and respect for the individual. They are the economic equivalents of the victims of Hurricane Katrina. And like those courageous souls still struggling to rebuild their lives after being struck by nature’s sometimes harsh hand, it is the inaction of government and the failure of leadership that inflicts the cruelest blow and the most difficult hardship from which to recover.

The Senate had an opportunity to repair a demonstrable wrong and join with the House which has already passed legislation to increase the minimum wage. By failing to set aside partisan differences and give relief to the neediest, the United States Senate demeaned itself and betrayed those who looked to it for hope. In so doing, its actions are, beyond question, the Outrage of the Week.