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.

When I was a boy —I suppose no five words date a man as much as those— James Doohan was an occasional guest at my parents’ summer parties. At that time he was an actor mainly on the CBC, which put him immediately into the category of one of the first celebrities I ever met —a fact that was almost as impressive as the very small two-seater car he drove that rode on just three wheels. I think it was French. It was very cool. There was always a script or two on the other seat. I remember Jimmy, as everyone called him then, was unfailingly patient with the endless questions kids have for someone who is on television, and never showed a hint of being taken with himself, unlike some vice presidents of this or that company who seemed to strut around trying to impress everyone. Funny how young people remember things like that and who has an authentic voice and who does not among the adult crowd.

Some years later, Jimmy went off to join the cast of a new TV series called Star Trek and became known throughout this galaxy, if not beyond, as Scotty, the craggy chief engineer of the USS Enterprise who was always “giving it all I can, Captain.” I imagine some Trekkies would give their Spock ears to have actually been in Jimmy’s first home —dare I say it, in the 1950s. It was definitely before the invention of warp speed but it did have a nice kitchen.

Today, Jimmy’s ashes were shot off into space on a rocket. He is the first person I have personally known whose mortal remains are no longer part of this earth. I wonder if it will become a trend. It’s a fitting new frontier for a pace setter who inspired millions about the mysteries of the cosmos and still found time at a much earlier age to indulge the curiosities of a young fan.

Well done, Jimmy. The journey continues.