Facing an unprecedented atmosphere of political and economic uncertainty in the West, a group of world-class Nordic businesses announced today a joint strategic effort to provide tools, resources and intelligence to help the companies navigate the changing U.S. and European markets. Nordic West Office, under the guidance of former U.S. Ambassador to Finland Charles C. Adams, Jr., will count among its members leaders from politics, trade organizations, academia, law, diplomacy and the media, whose collective experience will be a tool for business leaders seeking to adjust to the realignment of the Western world.
Jorma Ollila, the former CEO and Chair of Nokia Corporation and Chair of Shell Corporation, will serve as chairman of the group. Risto E. J. Penttilä, the long-time CEO of Finland Chamber of Commerce and Secretary General of the European Business Leaders’ Convention, will serve as CEO. Initial initiatives of the organization will include the launch of a global Scenario Analysis Project, focused on topics ranging from United States politics and regulation, to technological disruption, to the complexities surrounding Brexit. Nordic West Office has also already begun hosting workshops, analysis sessions and legislative monitoring out of American cities to help companies develop strategies around fluctuating risks.
“The radical changes we are seeing in the United States and Europe will impact the business environment of every Nordic company,” said Adams, who is now a partner with the global law firm Orrick and head of the firm’s International Arbitration practice. “From Trump to climate change, companies seeking to do business in the west face a landscape shaped by countless new factors. We are here to provide the tools they need to scout scenarios and create plans of action.”
The name Nordic West Office is a recognition of historic importance of the East Office, a group of Finnish companies that came together in the wake of the collapse of the Soviet Union to share best practices for businesses seeking to enter the newly accessible Russian market. Similarly, as Nordic companies look to expand in a globalized world newly rocked by disruptive new technologies and changing political rhetoric, Nordic West Office will provide heavy-duty support for business and strategy development.
Founding member companies include Finnair, Ilmarinen, Konecranes, Wärtsilä and UPM. Nordic West Office is headquartered in Washington, D.C.