An eye on Finnish IR

Oct 18, 2017
Former broadcast journalist Tuukka Hirvonen joins Finnish eye healthcare company

Silmäasema, a Finnish eye clinic and optical retail chain, has appointed Tuukka Hirvonen as its new head of communications and IR.

Hirvonen, who will join early November and report to CEO Pasi Kohmo, joins from pharmaceuticals firm Orion, where he served as IR and financial communications manager for seven years. Most recently he was a partner sales manager for Orion Pharma Animal Health.

After graduating from the University of Helsinki with a master’s in political science, Hirvonen worked as a journalist for the Finnish broadcasting company YLE, an experience he believes was helpful in three ways.

‘First of all, it was a good school for performing in public,’ he says. ‘Secondly, as a journalist you have to think and evaluate things from different perspectives. This has been a very helpful skill for my IR role, where you have to be a link between the management and the investment community. Thirdly, similar to an IRO, a journalist often has to make very complicated issues understandable to a large audience.’

After journalism, Hirvonen moved into communications at 3 Step IT Group and also had a stint as a communications manager at the federation of Finnish textiles and clothing industries (now Finnish Textile and Fashion).

Commenting on the IR scene in Finland, Hirvonen says: ‘The Finnish IR society, with roughly 200 registered members, is very active in organizing training sessions and networking events.’

He mentions social media as a big talking point, with certain individuals such as blogger Random walker or tweeter @zijoittaja reportedly ‘gaining a certain authority’ among retail investors. ‘I don’t know whether it is the same elsewhere or just something that is booming here in Finland,’ Hirvonen says.

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