Morning Coffee: Associate with higher aspirations quits banking, writes masterful email. CEO admits impossibility of eliminating bad'uns

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Resignation email banking

As banking emails go, there are a few legends. Joe Mauro's motivational email to junior staff at Goldman Sachs in 2016 is one. Greg Smith's resignation letter (also from Goldman Sachs), published in the New York Times, is another. Bill Kennan's resignation email from Deutsche Bank may not be quite as much of a heavy plop, but it still includes some masterstrokes of which you may want to take note,

Dealbreaker has the email in full. Some of it goes over our heads (what is Motiva?), but Kennan also has a formula which other disgruntled post-bonus associates could follow. Herewith is our deconstruction of his oeuvre.

Firstly, Kennan satirizes the dream of leaving banking for a private equity fund, by claiming he's off to, "global private equity shop KKR (Kohlberg Keenan & Ravis) where I’ve been tasked with building out their cryptocurrency franchise."

Then he satirizes Deutsche Bank: "Things I’ll miss: getting 7 calls from BIS minutes after sending over a request and explaining 7 times what I wrote clearly in the original email; padding my 110-hour staffing log with rogue assignments."

Then he satirizes foolish MDs who think, "the “F9” key magically re-does the model." And then foolish analysts who say, "“will do” and “thanks” after getting shafted."

There's some light ribaldry of his former colleagues: "Burke standing two inches from me while he talks...Prez over-promising and under-delivering." And there's a reference to the way that junior banking jobs expand to occupy your life such that he only got to see "Emily from time to time."

Most of all, though, Kennan seems to be leaving in good humour - there's none of the bitterness of Smith, who didn't get promoted to MD and thus bore a mighty grudge. It's not clear what Kennan's going to do next. He certainly wanted to work in banking once - his CV is littered with archetypal finance qualifications such as an MBA from Columbia and a bachelors from Harvard. But Kennan also looks like a man with more than just the banking string to his bow: he's been a professional hockey player. He's also written an autobiographical book titled, 'Odd Man Rush', about, "a hockey star once on the fast-track to the NHL" and "how he overcame multiple obstacles to find fulfillment and redemption in the strange world of European minor-league professional hockey." After two and a half years in M&A at Deutsche Bank, Kennan clearly thinks he's made for other things. Deutsche will be hoping the resignation email isn't a prelude to another book deal.

Separately, you can't keep the nasties out of finance, especially - it seems - if you're a Swiss bank. Echoing ex-UBS boss Marcel Rohner's statement to the UK parliament in 2013, Credit Suisse CEO Tidjane Thiam said yesterday that it's impossible to screen out the, "3% to 4% of people will "do the wrong thing in any circumstance". Instead of avoiding these people in the first place, Thiam said Credit Suisse is giving extra bonuses to people who call out wrongdoing. This may at least help compensate for the smaller increase in the bank's bonus pool this year.


Credit Suisse's bonus pool will rise by 3% this year. Last year it rose by 6%. (Bloomberg) 

Credit Suisse said U.S. authorities are investigating whether it hired well-connected Chinese “princelings” in exchange for investment banking business. (Financial Times) 

Thiam defends VIX ETN: "The prospectus is extremely clear. It says things like your ETN has zero long-term value . . . like if you invest for more than one day you are likely to lose all or a substantial portion of your investment.”  (Financial Times) 

Ex-Credit Suisse bankers are convening at a fintech firm called Quant Insight. The latest to join is Garrett Curran, former head of UK operations. (Financial News) 

Deutsche Bank CFO: "The recent increase in volatility, which was expected, is good for the business, no question." (AFR) 

Rokos Capital doubled floor space at its headquarters at 23 Savile Row last year. It now employs 120 people. (Financial News) 

Dusty Philip is now co-head of M&A at Goldman Sachs, alongside Michael Carr and London-based Gilberto Pozzi. (WSJ)

Escape banking for private equity and do the job of a banker. (WSJ) 

How to hedge your career against falling equities markets: work on a desk that deals with corporate share buybacks. (Bloomberg) 

Citi employees were given the special opportunity to express their appreciation for each other through gifts including thank you cards, artisanal coffee and rose bouquets. (Humanresourcesonline)

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