Obituary: Lady Judge, corporate trailblazer

Lady Judge, who held a raft of senior positions in the financial services sector including with the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) and was a mainstay of the corporate world, has died at the age of 73

A US-born lawyer, Barbara Judge went on to build a career as a businesswoman on both sides of the Atlantic, initially in private equity and latterly in a range of public service roles in areas including regulation, the media and the nuclear industry.

In 1980, aged 33, she was appointed as the youngest commissioner at the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), where she argued for the regulator to open US capital markets to overseas investors and to gain entry for US firms into the Tokyo stock market.

Throughout her career Judge was a strong advocate of encouraging greater female participation at executive levels, and in 1993 became the first woman on the board of News International in the UK. in 2002 she became a director of the UK Atomic Energy Authority and two years later was appointed its chair, subsequently moving on to senior positions within Japanese nuclear companies.

Judge went on to chair the Pension Protection Fund, was deputy chair of the FRC, led a joint UK-US committee on corporate governance, and was involved as an investor and director in a number of tech start-up companies.

 She also held a number of charitable roles and was active in the higher education sector.

Most recently, Judge became the first woman to chair the Institute of Directors in 2015, although her tenure of the role ended controversially in 2018 following clashes with the senior management team.

In 2010, Judge was awarded a CBE for services to the nuclear and financial services industries.

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