MJ Hudson acquires Dutch ESG consultancy

The acquisition continues the group's expansion into specialist ESG analysis

Asset management consultant MJ Hudson has acquired Spring Associates’ Responsible Investment Service for an undisclosed sum.

The acquisition of the Dutch ESG consulting and reporting group follows MJ Hudson’s decision to establish a legal practice in Milan, Italy at the beginning of the year. The acquired business will be rebranded as MJ Hudson Spring.

It also comes just months after the company’s acquisition of Amaces, a North American and European data benchmarking group in December.

“We have entered a new era of asset management, where ESG has become, rightly, a business critical issue for fund managers and investors,” said Matthew Hudson, chief executive officer of MJ Hudson.

“Northern Europe has made the early running, but continued pressure from stakeholders and regulators means that other markets, including North America, are not far behind.”

Mr Hudson said that in the early years of ESG analysis, investors were happy to allow funds to express their own interpretations of sustainable investing, but this has changed.

“Prompted by grassroots pressure and the attendant prospect of enhanced regulation, we believe that the next phase calls for more independent and consistent analysis of ESG factors within a framework that can assess the depth to which it has been internalised,” he said.

“The era of so-called ‘greenwashing’ is at an end, and the Spring team saw it coming.”

Spring Associates’ client base includes asset managers, institutional investors and private equity firms. It has a team of 10 investment professionals and a team of support staff. The company was established in 2005.