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.

A Voice that Defined a Presidency and Set the Gold Standard for Political Eloquence

Just short of half a century to the day when John F. Kennedy became the 35th President of the United States, his last remaining counselor, Ted Sorensen, passed away.  He was 82.  To be picked by President Kennedy, a man of great letters and literary appreciation himself, to be a speechwriter and advisor at a young age was high praise itself.  But Ted Sorensen went on to give the young president and the world soaring prose that illuminated that presidency in a way that has been matched by no other since. He was a master of words — yes — but like all truly great speechwriters, he had a gift for understanding the innermost timeless yearnings of people for truth and justice, hope and opportunity, fairness and the freedom to accomplish.  Mr. Sorensen knew, as well, that while ordinary people can do much, they can do even more with leaders who shine a beacon to point the way forward.

Neither his sense of optimism nor his capacity to craft thoughts that inspire dulled with time, as his concluding remarks in Counselor, one of his last books, eloquently testify:

I still believe that the mildest and most obscure of Americans can be rescued from oblivion by good luck, sudden changes in fortune, sudden encounters with heroes.

For the immortal words and ideas he created that became the gold standard for political eloquence half a century on, Ted Sorensen was one of our heroes.  We will miss him.