Bridget Kustin

Senior Research Fellow and Director, Ownership Project 2.0: Private Capital Owners & Impact

  • Bridget.Kustin@sbs.ox.ac.uk

Saïd Business School
University of Oxford
Park End Street


Bridget is an economic anthropologist and Senior Research Fellow at Oxford Saïd, where she is Director of the global research Initiative, Ownership Project 2.0: Private Capital Owners & Impact. 

Bridget holds a Bachelor’s (BA) degree in English (summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa) from Whitman College, a liberal arts school in Washington State. She received her PhD in Economic Anthropology from Johns Hopkins University, where she was a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow and a Fellow of the Institute for Money, Technology, and Financial Inclusion. With a focus on economic topics in South Asia, she was a Fulbright Scholar to Bangladesh, Fellow of the American Institute of Bangladesh Studies and Language Fellow of the American Institute of Indian Studies to support Bengali language proficiency via full-time language study in Kolkata, India.

Bridget was previously a fellow in residence at the WZB (Centre for Social Science Research) in Berlin and has served on the World Economic Forum's Global Futures Council for Development Finance.


  • Organisational behaviour
  • Family business
  • Family offices and family-led investment platforms
  • Innovation 
  • Theories of capitalism
  • Racial capitalism and theories of social justice
  • Language philosophy
  • International development
  • International business
  • Islamic finance
  • Microfinance and financial inclusion
  • Qualitative research and ethnography


Bridget’s research, teaching and employment has focused on wealth management at opposite ends of the wealth spectrum. This includes researching family-owned businesses with revenue above USD 1 billion as Research Lead on the Ownership Project at Oxford Saïd, from 2018-2023. For this, she conducted fieldwork in 12 countries and oversaw a team of research assistants analysing qualitative and quantitative data regarding how billion-dollar family business owners influence their businesses and exercise their ownership. Bridget is currently writing a trade (non-academic) book about large business-owning families.

Prior to this, she was based full-time in Bangladesh and Pakistan for nearly 2 years researching Islamic finance and microfinance (including at the Islamic Development Bank in Saudi Arabia), living amongst clients in rural settings to study household financial management. 

Her current project, Private Capital Owners & Impact, is a three-year global study of single family offices and family-led investment platforms, large family businesses, and family foundations - and how they can scale their impact to meet global needs, from climate tech to infrastructure, against a backdrop of growing inequality. 


Business in times of crisis(opens in new window)

  • Journal article
  • Oxford Review of Economic Policy
  • Mary Johnstone-Louis,
  • Bridget Kustin,
  • Colin Mayer,
  • Judith Stroehle,
  • Boya Wang

Islamic financing principles and their application to microfinance(opens in new window)

  • Chapter
  • Islamic Microfinance Shari'ah Compliant and Sustainable?
  • Ajaz Ahmed Khan,
  • Bridget Kustin,
  • Khalid Khan

Rationality, risk, uncertainty, and Islamic finance(opens in new window)

  • Chapter
  • Beyond Neoliberalism: Social Analysis after 1989
  • Bridget Kustin

Ethnographic approaches to understanding client versus institutional priorities for Islamic microfinance in Bangladesh.

  • Chapter
  • Islamic Finance and Development
See more publications


Bridget’s commitment to translating academic research into practice has manifested in multiple engagements with Oxford Saïd’s Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship, first as an Early Career Fellow and as a current Research Fellow. As a recipient of the Skoll Centre's Systems Change Accelerator Grant, she co-organised the December 2022 conference 'Wealth Management’s New Imperatives,' attended by over 200 of London’s leading private client and private wealth professionals (lawyers, investment managers, accountants, tax professionals), academics, and wealth-holders, and civil society – an unprecedented blending of stakeholders to discuss the imperatives that growing wealth inequality presents to private client work.

Bridget has also held consultancies (including through Anthro Ltd, her anthropological research practice) for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Good Ancestor Movement, and Islamic Relief Worldwide. Bridget is on the Advisory Board of IDEA (Increasing Diversity in Enterprising Activities), which is part of the Enterprising Oxford Initiative at the University of Oxford; and previously served on the Advisory Boards of Millionaires for Humanity and the Institute for Money, Technology, and Financial Inclusion. 


Bridget is a Co-Convenor of the core MBA course, Capitalism in Debate and has taught Racial Capitalism to the entire MBA class for the past three years. She also teaches MBA and Executive MBA students on Strategies for Impact.

She lectures frequently on Executive Education programmes and directs bespoke courses for family businesses and family business ‘next gens.’

Bridget is a Tutor on the start-up incubator Creative Destruction Lab and on the Executive MSc in Change Leadership. She has taught and lectured at SOAS - University of London, Johns Hopkins University, King's College London, NYU's Stern School of Business and Habib University (Pakistan).

Oxford Answers

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