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Asset Value Investors was established in 1985 to manage the assets of British Empire Trust plc (British Empire), then a £6 million London listed investment company.

A group of UK institutional and private US investors supported a 4 for 1 rights offering to enlarge British Empire to £30 million.

British Empire is now capitalised at over £1,000 million*. Read more about British Empire’s history here.

* as at August 2017

Investment Philosophy

Our deep value long only global equity investment strategy is aimed at investing into companies who themselves own good quality, undervalue businesses an whose net value exceeds the share price the company is currently trading on.

We are fundamental bottom up stock pickers and our aim is to:

  • Invest mainly into Family Controlled Holding Companies, Closed-End Funds and asset backed companies;
  • Identify good quality, under-researched companies whose underlying assets are misunderstood or not recognised by the market;
  • Buy companies with a strong balance sheets and good quality underlying assets trading on discounts to their net asset value;
  • Diversify risk by investing into companies who themselves offer diversification by having multi-faceted and dispersed underlying businesses;
  • Engage in constructive engagement with boards and management to increase shareholder value.


  • Investment Team

    • Joe Bauernfreund, BSc, MSc

      Joe Bauernfreund is Chief Executive Officer of Asset Value Investors and Chief Investment Officer.  As of 1 October 2015, Joe Bauernfreund is the named portfolio manager of the British Empire Trust.  He joined Asset Value Investors in July 2002 as an Investment Analyst, following completion of a Masters in Finance from the London Business School.  At first, Joe worked closely with John Walton in focusing on the European Holding Companies.

      Prior to joining Asset Value Investors, Joe worked six years for a real estate investment organisation in London.

    • Scott Beveridge, BSc (Actuarial Science), CFA

      Scott joined AVI in October 2005 as Investment Analyst.  He works closely with the AVI’s fund managers to provide analysis of the current investments and potential investments in the portfolio. Scott is focused on the property strategy.

      Scott has two years investment analyst experience with Fundamental Data undertaking quantitative analysis.  He has a degree in Actuarial Science from University of Kent, Canterbury.

    • Tom Treanor, BA (Economics), CFA

      Tom joined AVI in February 2011 as Investment Analyst.  He works closely with AVI’s fund managers to provide analysis of the current investments and potential investments in AVI’s fund portfolios.  Tom is focused on the global strategy.

      Tom spent 9 years working for Fundamental Data/Morningstar in various roles involving closed-end fund analysis.  He has a degree in Economics from the University of Leicester.

    • Daniel Lee, BSc (Physics)

      Daniel joined AVI in February 2015 as a Junior Investment Analyst.  He supports both Tom and Scott in the analysis of current and prospective investments.

      Daniel completed internships at Pamplona Capital Management and Mercer Ltd before joining AVI.  He has passed all 3 levels of the CFA exams and is a CAIA Charterholder.  He graduated with a First Class Honours in Physics from the University of Bristol.

    • Darren Gillen, BA (Accounting & Finance)

      Darren joined AVI in September 2016 as a Junior Investment Analyst.  Along with Daniel, he supports Tom and Scott in the analysis of current and prospective investments.  Prior to joining AVI, Darren spent three years working in Dublin as an investment analyst at GillenMarkets.  He passed the third level of the CFA exams in June 2015 and graduated in 2012 with a First Class Honours degree in Accounting & Finance from Dublin City University.

  • Finance

    • John Kidd, BSc, FCCA, MSCI

      John joined AVI in July 2011 as Chief Financial Officer. He is responsible for AVI’s finances and works closely with AVI’s Board to help  improve operational efficiencies.

      Prior to joining AVI, John was a partner at Meteora Partners LLP, a firm providing full managerial and administration support to independent investment firms operating predominantly in the investment management and hedge fund industries. John has over 15 years experience working in financial services.

      John has a degree in Accounting & Finance from the University of Hull and qualified as a Chartered Certified Accountant in 1999.

  • Business Development

    • Kimmberly Lau, BA (Finance)

      Kimmberly joined AVI in October 2003 as Business Development Director and  is responsible for AVI’s various asset gathering strategies, working closely with the managers of the client portfolios.

      Kimmberly has spent seven years in sales and research specializing in emerging markets with Commerzbank and Wood & Company. Prior to that, she was a management consultant in Central Europe.

      Kimmberly has a degree in Finance and Economics from Oregon State University.

  • Operations

    • Jake Crowhurst, MA (Mechanical Engineering)

      Jake joined AVI in February 2012 as Head of Operations to build out and run the Operations team within the firm.

      Prior to joining AVI, Jake spent 5 years running operations teams at two hedge funds where he was responsible for all post trade activity. Jake has over 11 years’ experience in the financial services industry.

      Jake has a Master’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering from Nottingham University.

  • Office Management

    • Nicola Cowman, BA (Business Studies)

      Nicola joined AVI in April 2004 as Office Manager and is responsible for the operations of the office. She also provides support to the fund administration side of the business.

      Nicola graduated from Derby University with a degree in Business Studies in 1995.

    • Kirsten Hughes, BBus (International Business)

      Kirsten joined AVI in February 2010 as an administration assistant to provide general secretarial support and assist the co-ordination of office management activities.

      Kirsten graduated from Queensland University of Technology (QUT), Australia with a degree in International Business in 1993.

Board of Directors

  • Joe Bauernfreund, CEO

  • Kimmberly Lau

  • John Pennink, Chairman

  • Mark Townsend

  • Duncan Budge

  • Alan Bartlett




This fund is not an Alternative Investment Fund it must be read in conjunction with the Additional Information and Key Investor Information documents. Please ensure that you have read and understood both documents before taking any investment action.