In 1994, while completing his doctorate in economics, Adrian formed an investment vehicle which became the forerunner to Cannon Asset Managers. With a professorship in economics, Adrian could combine the two complementary activities of academia and investment management. As he says: “these disciplines feed and fuel each other richly and powerfully”. Today Adrian serves as the Chief Executive of Cannon Asset Managers, having founded the firm in 1998.
Adrian matriculated from Westville Boys High School in 1986. His tertiary qualifications include a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) (cum laude) degree and M.Com (cum laude) from the University of Natal. He completed his PhD (Economics) at the University of Natal in 1997, for which he was awarded the Economics Society of South Africa’s Founders Medal. He is a UNESCO laureate and a matriculant of Linacre College (Oxford). He has completed programmes in value investing and competitive strategy at New York’s Columbia University and Harvard Business School in Boston.
Adrian has experience in managing all of the major asset classes, and he has successfully combined teaching and investments over the years, having lectured at the University of the Witwatersrand, the University of KwaZulu-Natal and the University of Pretoria. He has also taught classes at the Bentley School of Business, Estonian Business School, Kelley School of Business, London Business School and Rotterdam School of Management. Currently, he holds a Professorship in Economics, Finance and Strategy at the Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS). Adrian has received the coveted Excellence in Teaching Award at GIBS each year since 2007. In 2012 Adrian was nominated for the Economist Intelligence Unit’s Business Professor of the Year Award. In 2014 he received the Central and East European Management Development Association award in teaching excellence and in 2016 received an award from the same institution for business case writing in an emerging market setting.
Adrian’s successful career has encompassed consulting widely to government and the corporate world. He has published broadly in peer-reviewed journals and books, and is a member of the Investment Analysts Society and Economics Society of South Africa. An area of focus in his work is the competitiveness of companies, industries and countries which leads to an enquiry into what enables businesses and investors to succeed in an increasingly dynamic – and oftentimes harsh – global environment.
Adrian is married to Dr Tashmia Ismail, the Chief Executive Officer of the Youth Employment Service. His daughter, Sydney-Bo, was born in 2003 and his son, Saxon, was born in 2006.
- Expertise & Key Themes Country & economic performance
- Corporate strategy, business models and innovation
- Investment marketsAdrian’s successful career has encompassed consulting widely to government and the corporate world