David Young

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David Ivor Young, Baron Young of Graffham,(27 February 1932 – 9 December 2022) was a British Conservative politician, cabinet minister and businessman.[1][2]

Early life

David Young was born into an orthodox Jewish family in London. His father was born in Yurevich, near Minsk, a village that is now in Belarus but was then largely populated by Lithuanian Jews, including Young’s own family.[3]

His younger brother, Stuart, served as chairman of the BBC.[4]

Margaret Thatcher

Young became involved in voluntary organisations as Chairman of the vocational training charity British ORT; in 1977 he joined the Centre for Policy Studies, a free-market thinktank founded to promote the political approach that Thatcher pursued after her election as Conservative party leader. He became director of the CPS when she took office in 1979. On the first day of the new government, Keith Joseph, the Secretary of State for Industry, appointed him his advisor responsible for what later became known as privatisation.

Because of his involvement with vocational training through ORT, he was picked by Norman Tebbit when he was Secretary of State for Employment to be the Chairman of the Manpower Services Commission in 1981, the Government Agency dealing with unemployment and training matters.

Later business career

Young then went back to business as a director of Salomon Inc. and executive chairman of Cable & Wireless. From 1993 he was president of the Institute of Directors, and from 1995 was chairman of Council of University College, London. He was the first president of Jewish Care (1990–1997).

Young retired from Cable & Wireless in 1995 and in 1996 set up his own company, Young Associates Ltd, with partners Simon Alberga and Yoav Kurtzbard, which actively invests in technology companies. Outside Young Associates he had a number of business interests. He was chairman and controlling shareholder of the Camcon Federation of companies, a Cambridge-based federation of companies with innovative technology in the oil and gas, auto and medical fields. He was controlling shareholder and on the board of TSSI Systems Ltd, a long-established company in security technology, and in both these companies he worked with Danny Chapchal. He was a substantial shareholder and chairman of Deep Tek Ltd, a company with developed technology to enable operations in deep and ultra-deep waters in the oil and gas sectors and in scientific exploration. He was a substantial shareholder and chairman of KashFlow Software Ltd, a leading provider of online accounting for Small and medium-sized enterprises.

In 1996, Young was involved in the privatisation of the Rostock Port, in Germany. Following several years of decline in port traffic, the Rostock city council agreed to sell the port to Kent Investments Ltd., a company controlled by Young,[5] in partnership with two Israeli businessmen, Menachem Atzmon and Ezra Harel.[6] It was later discovered that Young was only a frontman for the Israeli investors. The two were later under investigation by Israel Securities Authority, suspected of fraud and breach of trust. They acquired the port by obtaining a loan from Rogosin Industries, a public company they controlled, which raised the money by issuing bonds. Rogosin Industries then received an option to buy 25 percent of the port in exchange for forgiving the loan. Rogosin Industries eventually exercised this option, which left Harel and Atzmon owning 75 percent of Rostock Port using Rogosin's funds.[7] The case was investigated after Rogosin Industries defaulted on its bonds, as it run out of cash to pay its bondholders.[8] The company later went into liquidation.[9]


  • In December 2010, he became a patron of Lifelites, a charity providing technology for children in hospices.