Asset management consultancy MJ Hudson has acquired Spring Associates Responsible Investment Service, a consultancy in the field of environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) investing.

The acquisition is MJ Hudson’s first in the ESG sector.

Spring Associates was founded in 2005 in the Netherlands and has worked with private equity fund managers and institutional investors as clients. 

MJ Hudson said the acquired business would continue to help fund managers integrate ESG into their investment processes, and support their portfolio companies by identifying and monitoring ESG risks and opportunities for value creation. Other services included analysing, monitoring and reporting on ESG risks in institutional investors’ fund portfolios.

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

“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.”

Matthijs Baan, co-founder of Spring, said the company had ambitious plans for expansion.

Spring’s clients and 10 professionals plus certain support staff will transition to MJ Hudson Spring, as the new business will be known.

For MJ Hudson, the deal comes after it established a legal practice in Milan in January and acquired Amaces, a North American and European data, analytics and benchmarking specialist, in December.

Spring Associates is the latest target in a series of transactions in the ESG sector this year that has included the London Stock Exchange group buying Beyond Ratings and Moody’s Investors Services taking a majority stake in Vigeo Eiris.