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.

Last January it was the huge privacy breaches involving Winner stores and Talvest Mutual Funds. As we noted with considerable dismay at the time on these pages, Canada’s federal Privacy Commissioner waited weeks before going public with the information, leaving customers whose privacy had been compromised in the dark. Now, the problem involves Rogers Communications Inc., one of Canada’s largest telecommunications carriers. As The Centre for Corporate & Public Governance pointed out in a statement calling once again for action on the part of federal lawmakers, Rogers has known about the breakdown in privacy protection for five months, but is only now getting around to advising customers. There is no information about this breach on either Rogers’ website or the Privacy Commission’s.

Something is very wrong about the handling of abuses of personal information when companies can drag their feet for months before letting customers know, and the Privacy Commission still has nothing to say on the subject. As The Centre also notes, there is no update at all on the breaches that surfaced in January. When it comes to privacy in Canada, too many parties responsible for its safeguarding and regulation are asleep at the switch.

It’s time somebody in Ottawa woke them up.