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.

martin-luther-king.jpg Benny Goodman.jpg Elvis stamp.jpg

The celebration of Martin Luther King day serves also as a reminder that America has produced other kings who have changed the world for the better. Civil rights and music are two contributions that have given the United States a unique place in the hearts of many, regardless of native language or culture.

This is perhaps a good thing to reflect upon during this time of America’s testing in Iraq and the unsettling effect it continues to have on the American image abroad. Its reminder is all the more timely given that almost each day seems to bring more troubling stories about another new instance of domestic surveillance and with it a further incursion into the privacy of citizens.

The forces that liberate the soul and allow people to be treated with dignity and respect still remain music to the ears of countless millions –and to most Americans themselves. This was something Dr. King uniquely understood and gave such eloquent voice to. The other kings provided the melody in their own equally distinct fashions.

For more youthful readers, the fellow in the middle photo is Benny Goodman, known in his time as “the king of swing.” Benny was a pioneer of civil rights in the music industry, showcasing many African Americans who were shunned by other top bands, including a young Lionel Hampton. In the 1930s, the Benny Goodman trio and quartet were among the first racially integrated jazz groups to record and play before wide audiences. Take it from a one-time aspiring jazz musician, this cat played one cool stick. He was a favorite of both Dr. King and Elvis for the “content of his character” as well as the quality of his talent.