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.

We have talked occasionally on these pages about the game of baseball as a metaphor for life.  It has its rules, which are to be respected, otherwise nothing can be advanced.  (Wall Street please note.)  It has its ups and downs, which test the loyalty of fans. Some teams in New York and Chicago test it more than others.  And it has its heroes, who, at their best, quietly inspire in a way that transcends age and place in life and unites both tycoon and taxi driver in a common adulation.  And it has its terrible disappointments that go beyond the loss of a game or even a season.  They break the heart. 

In recent years, there have been a lot of broken hearts.  The game has lost some of the glitter and the grace it once had.  It needs to get them back.  

Compare these clips from two who have commanded enormous idolization and trust in their time.  There could not be a starker contrast, or sadder commentary, on the decline of the game, and the need to get its magic back.



Honest people.  Authentic character.  Modesty in the face of success.  Grace in the company of defeat.  Respect for the institution, its fans and all the trust that goes with the uniform.  This is the way back for baseball and those who are fortunate enough to be able to aspire to the fields where the Greats once played and where their spirit never fades.

This is the way for genuine heroes. It is a one-way road.