Thursday 12 December 2019 12:41 pm

Former SJ Berwin lawyer bags £23m fortune through float of consultancy MJ Hudson

A former SJ Berwin private equity partner has today made a £23m paper fortune after the asset management consultancy he founded went public in a £100m float on London’s junior market.

Matthew Hudson founded MJ Hudson in 2010 after a career as a private equity lawyer at now-defunct City firm SJ Berwin and US law firms Proskauer Rose and O’Melveny & Myers.

He also worked for private equity firms CSFB, Far Blue Ventures, Tower Gate Capital and Coller Capital.

Read more: Hybrid law firm and funds adviser MJ Hudson targeting December float

“For us it’s not an exit, it wasn’t IPO’ing [initial public offering] to sell shares to get out. It’s a growth story, raising money to grow and make acquisitions,” Hudson told City A.M.

MJ Hudson went public today, raising £31.4m before expenses from institutional investors, including £29.3m of new money for the company, through a placing and subscription of 55,024,958 ordinary shares at a placing price of 57p. 

The company’s market capitalisation on admission was £97.6m.

Hudson owned 31.9 per cent of the company prior to admission and 22.7 per cent after the listing. 

His stake in the company is valued at nearly £23m based on the company’s price at admission.

Read more: Saudi Aramco hits $2bn valuation as shares open higher

MJ Hudson, which was founded in 2010 in the wake of the financial crisis, advises fund managers, investors and advisers, providing legal services, fund management services, investment advice and data and analytics.

It has more than 750 clients, including around 550 fund managers and about 200 fund investors.

“I saw an opportunity to create a brand new, fresh, unencumbered, no history, new company. A new model to service the fund management industry,” Hudson said. 

The company’s float comes during a tough period for the public markets which have been scarred by global macroeconomic trends, troubles in the funds sector and political uncertainty in the UK.

In November, £380m in new money was raised on Aim, compared to more than £1.5bn in the same month in both 2017 and 2018, according to London Stock Exchange data.

“Because of the headwinds, people said don’t IPO now, it’s ridiculous, there is only Saudi Aramco out there, but we just kept on going – and it was hard – but we kept on going,” Hudson said.

Cenkos Securities is acting as the company’s nominated adviser and broker.