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He Wrote a ‘No-Effs-Given’ Farewell Email at Deutsche Bank. Now He’s Written a Memoir.

Bill Keenan's new book, Discussion Materials: Tales of a Rookie Wall Street Investment Banker, landed last week.

The man behind what DealBreaker called one of “Wall Street’s Greatest F*ck Y’all Emails of All-Time” has published a memoir about his time in the industry.  

Former Deutsche Bank investment banking associate Bill Keenan’s book, Discussion Materials: Tales of a Rookie Wall Street Investment Banker, was published March 31 by Simon & Schuster amid a growing economic crisis and global pandemic.  

Keenan — who is based in the Covid-19 pandemic’s epicenter, Manhattan, is optimistic about the book’s release, however.  

“It is what it is when it comes to the current environment,” Keenan said by phone Monday. “I got emails about the book from a 21-year-old college student in Bangladesh and then an 85-year-old writer who was a former banker. Those two emails are gratifying and reason enough to do it.” 

Keenan’s book aims to capture the nuances of life within an investment bank, with chapter titles that include  “#REF! Me” (a reference to an Excel error), and “Compliance King.” 

Keenan began working for Deutsche Bank in 2016, spending just under two years at the firm.  

Before joining the investment bank, he had played hockey at Harvard University and eventually the European minor leagues, with his sights set on joining the National Hockey League.  

When that didn’t come to fruition, he decided to follow in his parent’s footsteps and try his hand at investment banking. “I played hockey and it was my life,” Keenan said. “It defined who I was. When that was taken from me, I went out and started searching.” He did, however, mine that experience for a book: Keenan’s Odd Man Rush was published in 2016. 

Keenan spent his years at Deutsche Bank fascinated by his team members, enjoying the “melting pot of emotions and personalities” and “all the little details” of their lives. 

“I had most of the book mapped out by the time I quit,” said Keenan. “When you’re at an investment bank, the floor you work on becomes your world.”  

But, as he said, “the creativity was sucked out of me.”

It was this, according to Keenan, that spawned the now infamous email to his fellow employees. “I’ve taken a position at the global private equity shop KKR (Kohlberg Keenan & Ravis) where I’ve been tasked with building out their cryptocurrency franchise,” he wrote, a joking reference to private equity powerhouse Kohlberg Kravis & Roberts.  

According to Keenan, he wrote the email just to make a friend laugh. 

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Keenan now works on the business side of a newsletter called Air Mail, which was founded in August by former Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter. He’s writing more and said he has recently gotten into plays.  

As for what he’s doing while stuck at home during the pandemic? “I’ve rearranged my bookshelves,” Keenan said. “I’ve finished Netflix. Honestly, I’m fairly okay with it. I don’t mind the solitary writing existence." 

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