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.

In four of the past six years, from 2001 to and including 2006, Nortel has posted a loss. Over that time, the losses have soared past $30 billion. The years that made a profit accounted for less than $200 million. Out of the four quarters for 2007, Nortel posted losses in three, including a whopping $844 million for Q4, announced today. All told, the Toronto-based maker of telecom equipment lost more than a billion dollars for 2007 on a quarterly basis.

In each year since disaster struck the company to reveal management scandals, accounting irregularities and a woefully myopic board, Nortel, when not announcing restatements in its financial figures (it’s had four) announced more job cuts. Worldwide at Nortel, close to 60,000 people have been laid off, fired or have taken retirement since 2000, according to Information Week. Each time, job losses and layoffs were trumpeted as part of the great strategy for what CEO Mike Zafirovski now calls “our transformation.”

But you have to wonder what’s going to happen when Nortel runs out of jobs to cut. Will they try to lay off workers at other companies in order to look good? Stranger things have happened at Nortel, not the least of which is the infinite patience investors have shown for a company that always promises paradise in the abstract but generally delivers disappointment in the quarter.