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.

William Safire/ReutersWilliam Safire died this past week.  He started in public relations and had a stint writing speeches for Spiro Agnew, Richard Nixon’s corrupt and discredited vice president.  But what gained him admiration from well beyond the fringe of the left or the right was his reverence for the English language.  He demonstrated that skill in his New York Times columns for over three decades.  He was also a living illustration that whatever one’s politics, it is character and personality that ultimately define the individual.  Do you touch those around you with a special magic?  Do you lift those in defeat and in despair to a higher place, regardless of their political leanings or even their public offences?

In his columns, Mr. Safire took on many interests and causes that frequently belied his avuncular tweed jacket and Hush Puppy attire.  Some he hit rather hard.  But it was not uncommon to see him later having lunch with the object of his occasional acerbic pen –and footing the bill for the privilege.  Why did he do that?  “Only hit people when they’re up,” was how he explained it to a Times colleague.  It takes an uncommon person to understand where the battle of the office ends and where human compassion begins.  Bill Safire was one of the rare gems in that department.  He was his own man.  He understood the value of words and placed a high value on living a life of meaning.

He will be missed