Freud began his career as a journalist writing for the Financial Times for eight years. In 1984 he joined S.G. Warburg (Now UBS) as a banker specialising in 'flotations and privatisations around the world and successfully built strong investment banking franchises in Transport, Infrastructure, Leisure and Business Services'.
After retiring as Vice Chairman from UBS Investment Banking, he became the CEO of The Portland Trust between 2005-2008 and remains a Trustee and Director. The Trust is a not-for-profit foundation 'committed to promoting peace and stability between Palestinians and Israelis through economic development.' 
In March 2007 he published his independent 'Freud Report' on the Welfare to Work system, entitled “Reducing Dependency, Increasing Opportunity”,  which was commissioned by the then Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, John Hutton MP, and was welcomed at the time by former Prime Minister Tony Blair and the Chancellor, Gordon Brown. He subsequently acted as an adviser on welfare reform to the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (James Purnell) from January 2008 until February 2009.
In February 2009, David Cameron nominated David as his Shadow Minister for Welfare Reform. In May 2010 he assumed his current position.