Judith Unwin OBE FRSA

Distinguished Friend of Somerville

Judith Unwin read Philosophy Politics & Economics at Somerville College and subsequently spent 35+ years in international banking in the City.

She initially joined the merchant bank Lazard Brothers & Co., Limited as their first female graduate trainee and worked in the Bank’s International Division arranging financing for infrastructure projects in a range of overseas markets. Having first visited India in 1984 she has been a regular and frequent visitor ever since. 

After 10 years at Lazard Judith joined ANZ Grindlays Bank in London specialising in South Asia, particularly India. She was appointed to various UK Government advisory positions including the South Asia Advisory Group under the auspices of the then Department of Trade & Industry and participated in many Ministerial Trade Missions to India. 

From 2000 she held a number of senior roles at BNP Paribas London the last being head of a team working with the international Development Finance Institutions and Multilateral Agencies. She was a founding member of the Indo British Partnership and subsequently Director and Chair of the Nominations Committee of the UK India Business Council (2008-2014). She took a sabbatical from the Bank in 2006 to travel to rural India researching and working with women’s self help groups and microfinance schemes and has supported several Indian charities. 

In parallel with her professional career, Judith has held a number of Non Executive Director and pro bono trustee roles. 

She retired from banking in 2016 and is currently Chair of Contemporary Applied Arts in London as well as being involved with an Adult Literacy programme.

Judith was awarded an OBE in 2000 for Services to Export promotion to South Asia.

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