First House: New senior advisory firm focusing on financial communication and governmental affairs in Oslo, Norway

Fast House - Bjorn Richard Johansen
First House Norway

Oslo, Norway, 24th October 2009 – FIRST HOUSE is a focused strategic advisory firm with Norway and the Nordic countries as its home markets. The firm is founded on the belief that the strategic importance of excellent, insightful and honest advisory within financial communication and public and governmental affairs is a crucial value creator for clients within the public and the private sector.

The two pillars of FIRST HOUSE services are governmental affairs and financial communication:

Governmental affairs: • Strategic advisory and governmental advisory consulting • Research, analysis and advisory related to strategic challenges • Issues management • Confederation, trade council, associations and labour union communication • Public affairs and issues management

Financial & corporate communication: • Strategic advisory and business consulting • Financial communication and investor relations • Equity story development • Restructuring and recapitalisation communication • Strategic communication services related to M&A and capital market communication – in close cooperation with the leading investment banks, brokerage houses, the private equity industry, and first class legal expertise

Cross border/industry services: • CEO positioning and reputation management • Corporate positioning and brand development • Crisis management and crisis communication • Strategic advisory services in Norway towards enterprises and local, regional and central government, and public institutions, with the aim of creating growth in regionally based industries and services • Strategic liaison services, advisory and building bridges for businesses and institutions from China, India, Russia, the Pacific Rim and South and North America • Corporate social responsibility and philanthropy • Corporate culture; advisory related to internal communication and employee alignment • Media advisory, media relations and media coaching • Media training, presentation skills and leadership coaching

Our values:

  1. We know that governmental affairs and financial and corporate communication is all about the people – so we only become better at solving the most difficult challenges for our clients by always looking to recruit smarter people than ourselves. We believe difficult challenges attract smart people
  2. We believe in excellent, insightful and honest advice – and are not afraid of telling the truth to our clients, even if it is not what they or others around them want to hear. Our team and our integrity is our strongest value.
  3. We believe in professional development of the government affairs and financial and corporate communication industry, and will share our opinions and our knowledge. Notwithstanding, we never compromise our client confidentiality.
  4. We believe we will all do better if we enjoy working together, both in the workplace and at home with our families. We believe in helping each other, and being there for each other when needed. Today’s technology gives us a unique way to work effectively with our clients; and we will be at the forefront of such a cultural drive.
  5. We believe we might just be able to create wonders if we facilitate excellent collaboration and focus between our clients and our team, and always use our accumulated knowledge to create innovative communication solutions with the use of our methodical approaches.

And consequently:

  1. We believe that we, by using our professionalism, our team’s expertise within politics and finance, and by adhering to high standards and a strict code of ethics, make a significant contribution to our clients’ success.

FIRST HOUSE in brief:
FIRST HOUSE creates success for its clients within the private and public sectors through positioning and market communication for marked leaders and challengers. FIRST HOUSE contributes to the achievement of breakthroughs and good compromises through sound political communication, the maximisation of values for owners through strong regional development, and by building strong cultures through internal communication. Furthermore, FIRST HOUSE assists as an advisor and project manager within crisis management and crisis communication, power struggles, legal disputes, cases involving The Norwegian National Authority for Investigation and Prosecution of Economic and Environmental Crime (Økokrim) and the Norwegian Competition Authority, and other cases where the the corporate reputation is at stake.

FIRST HOUSE will build bridges for international corporations from China, India and the far east, North and South America, which need advisory in relation to establishing their businesses in and gaining access to the Norwegian market. FIRST HOUSE will be an active contributor who assists actors which are interested in regional growth in North Norway, mid-Norway, the west coast of Norway, the eastern parts of Norway and in Southern Norway. FIRST HOUSE has entered into several agreements on co-operation with strong regional advisory firms. In addition we have entered into agreements on co-operation with leading communication advisory companies in the Nordic Region, Europe, Asia and South and North America. Agreements on co-operation have also been entered into with the Nordic corporate communication companies Hallvarsson&Halvarsson (Sweden), Bottomline (Denmark) and Cocomms (Finland), and with Nordic eMarketing in Iceland, which is a company specialising in the utilisation of social media and web based communication. FIRST HOUSE will have about 15 employees in the first quarter of 2010.

The Partners in FIRST HOUSE

Bjarne Håkon Hanssen, (born in 1962 in Bangsund near Namsos in county Nord-Trøndelag, currently living in Oslo), previously Minister of Health and Care Services. Political assignments: 2008- :  Minister of Health and Care Services, 2005-2008: Minister of Labour and Social Inclusion, 2003-2005: Head of the Labour Party’s Working Group for European Debate, 2001-2005: Member of the Storting (the Norwegian Parliament) representing the county of Nord-Trøndelag, 2001-2005, Member of the Labour Party’s Leading Group, 2000-2001: Minister of Agriculture, 1997-2001: Member of the Storting (the Norwegian Parliament) representing the county of Nord-Trøndelag, 1995-1997: Chairman of the Nord-Trøndelag County Council, 1989-1993: Alternate member of the Storting, Nord-Trøndelag, 1980-1982: Executive secretary, Nord-Trøndelag Labour Youth League. Memberships in Stortinget’s committees and deletagions: 2001-2005: The Standing Committe on Social Affairs, 1997-2001: The Election Committee, 1997-2001: The Standing Committee on Business and Industry. Professonal carreer: 1989-1991: Municipal executive in Fosnes municipality, 1987-1989: Manager of Klingenbergheimen Centre for Mentally Disabled. Education: 1985: Teaching degree from Levanger College of Education. Contact Bjarne Håkon Hanssen, Strategic Advisor, via mobile +47 – 47 800 100, or e-mail


Bjørn Richard Johansen, (born in 1965 in Skien in Telemark county, currently living at Snarøya in Bærum municipality near Oslo), strategic advisor for SpareBank 1 and currently resigning from the position as director of communication in BNbank. One of Norway’s most experienced advisor within strategic management, Norwegian and international media relations, strategic positioning, governmental affairs and corporate communication. Bjørn Richard Johansen was headhunted as co-ordinator for the crisis management unit in Iceland, which was formed to handle the financial collapse that hit the republic in October 2008. He reported to the Prime Minister’s office. Prior to this, he was Director of Corporate Communication in Glitnir for three years, with responsibility for corporate communication in 14 countries. He has also been deputy managing director of Burson-Marsteller for four years, director of communication in Hakon Gruppen for three years, advisor in Burson-Marsteller for five years, journalist in the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation (NRK) for three years, and co-ordinator for the crisis management network in the Norwegian armed forces for four years. He started his career within communication as a political secretary in the Norwegian Young Consevatives. Bjørn Richard Johansen holds a degree in economics and business administration from the Norwegian School of Management (BI) and the University of Uppsala, and has officer training from the Norwegian army. Bjørn Richard Johansen is a member of the board of the Norwegian Association of Communication Professionals, which currently has 3300 members. Please contact Bjørn Richard Johansen, founder and chairman of the board on mobile + 47 – 47 800 100 or e-mail:


Jan-Erik Larsen, (born in 1963, currently living in Kristiansund in Møre og Romsdal county), previously State Secretary in the Office of the Prime Minister for Jens Stoltenberg’s first and second governments (2000-2001 and 2008-2009). Extensive political experience from the Labour Youth League and the Labour party. Elected member of the city council of Kristiansund and the county council of Møre og Romsdal.  Work experience: 2008-2009: State Secretary, Office of the Prime Minister, 2005–2008: Editor-in-chief and managing director of the local newspaper Tidens Krav in Kristiansund, 2004–2005: Independent communication consultant, 2003–2004: Corporate editor in the media group A-pressen, 2001 – 2003: Special advisor for the Labour Party parliamentary group 2000–2001: State Secretary and press spokesman in the Office of the Prime Minister, 1998–2000: Corporate editor in the media group A-pressen, 1993–1998: Corporate editor and managing director of Telemarksavisa, 1990–1993: Editor and manager in Tidens Krav, 1981–1990: Journalist and news editor in several newspapers, including Nordmørsposten, Arbeider-Avisa and Dagbladet. Education: Undergraduate studies in history (1997), sociology, media and communication studies and Spanish language and culture. Please contact Jan-Erik Larsen, strategic advisor, director of political communication, on mobile + 47 995 41 967 or e-mail:


Ketil Lindseth (born in 1977 in Steinkjær in Nord-Trøndelag county, currently living in Oslo), previously State Secretary in the Ministry of Health and Care Services. 2008-2009 Political advisor in the Ministry of Health and Care Services, 2007-2008 Political advisor in the Ministry of Labour and Social Inclusion, 2007-2007: Senior advisor JKL Group, 2004-2006: Director of Communication and Social Responsibility in the Norwegian Olympic and Paralympic Committee and Confederation of Sports (NIF), 2002-2004: Independent communication consultant, 2000-2002: Political advisor to the Norwegian Labour Party’s Parliamentary group. Education: 1999-2000: Undergraduate studies in media science at NTNU, 1997-1998: Undergraduate studies in sociology at Nord-Trøndelag University College. Political experience: 1999 2004: Member of the county council of Nord-Trøndelag, 1999-2001: Member of the board of the Norwegian Labour Youth (AUF), 1997-1999: Leader of AUF in Nord-Trøndelag, 1996-1997: Secretary of AUF in Nord-Trøndelag. Please contact Ketil Lindseth, strategic advisor, political communication on mobile + 47 419 00 286 or e-mail


Per Bjørkum, (born in 1964 in Oslo) is managing director and consultant in Trolltind Kommunikasjon. Per Bjørkum holds a degree in economics and business administration and an MBA. He has extensive experience both as a journalist and as a communication consultant. Per Bjørkum started his career as an analyst in Kredittkassen and Norse Securities, and then started as a journalist and editor in Reuters Norway. He worked for four years as director of communication in NetCom, and contributed to making the company one of Norway’s leading providers within IT and communication solutions. During his tenure in NetCom, Mr. Bjørkum was twice voted ”Communication manager of the year” by Norwegian journalists. Per Bjørkum was director of communication in CGI Monsen before he established Trollting Kommunikasjon in 2003. Trolltind Kommunikasjon was a Gazelle company in 2008, and has a wide range of small, medium and large enterprises in their customer portfolio. Please contact Per Bjørkum, strategic advisor, director, financial communication, on mobile + 47 922 55 777 or e-mail

Contacts in FIRST HOUSE:

Bjørn Richard Johansen, initiator and Founding Chairman, mobile +47-47 800 100, e-mail:

Jan-Erik Larsen, Strategic advisor, Director, Public Affairs and governmental relations, mobile +47-995 41 967, e-post:

Per Bjørkum, Strategic advisor, Director, Financial communication, mobile 922 55 777, e-post:

Bjarne Håkon Hanssen, Strategic advisor, via mobile +47-47 800 100, e-post:

Ketil Lindseth, Strategic advisor, mobile +47-419 00 286, e-post:

Stine Vikesland, Advisor/Project leader, (parental leave), mobile +47-995 55 777, e-post:

Christine Eiken, Advisor/Project leader, mobile 416 91 716, e-post:

Terje S. Hansen, Advisor/Project leader, mobile 99 21 67 85, e-post:

Fast House – Phone +47-47 800 100 –


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