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.

Without a shot being fired or a ballot being cast, the United States government has been overtaken by an act of socialism on a scale that is as incomprehensible as it is shocking.   Now, in addition to being the world’s largest mortgage backer as a result of its takeover of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the U. S. government is the owner of the world’s largest insurance company following yesterday’s seizure of AIG Insurance.  The implications of the $85 billion dollar bailout,  which brings the tab (so far) for U.S. government rescues and Fed loan facilties related to the current crisis to be in excess of $900 billion, have not even begun to be considered.  This much is clear:  Financed by the Federal Reserve, whose head, Ben S. Bernanke, mused last year that the subprime credit crisis would not spread to the larger economy; led by Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson, Jr., who proclaimed months ago that “We are closer to the end of this problem than we are to the beginning;” and approved by George W. Bush, the most disconnected and unpopular President in modern U.S. history, the judgment of these players inspires little confidence.

American capitalism has abrupty changed course and headed into waters that may prove far more harrowing than the collapse of even a giant insurance company.  Resourceful men and women can always find ways to manage disaster wrought by inattentive executives and directors such as those who drove AIG to the point of disaster.  They can rarely survive or prevail when fundamental and guiding principles themselves become the object of disregard and abuse.

*Birthplace of Vladimir llyich Ulyanov (Lenin)