Turney Duff was born in Cleveland, Ohio and grew up in Kennebunk, Maine. He returned to Ohio for college where earned a journalism degree at Ohio University’s E.W. Scripps School of Journalism. Turney began his Wall Street career as a sales assistant at Morgan Stanley in 1994. He moved on to The Galleon Group hedge fund in 1999 where he was a health care trader and Managing Director. In 2001, Turney became a Partner and the founding senior trader at Argus Partners, when it was spun off from Galleon. In 2007, Turney joined J.L. Berkowitz (Jim Cramer’s former firm) as Partner and senior trader, where he worked through 2009. Turney has written and executive produced two short movies, and under his rap name “Cleveland D”, was partly responsible for the infamous Galleon song, “On the Good Ship Galleon.” He currently lives in Long Island City. www.TurneyDuff.com.
THE BUY SIDE (Crown, June 4, 2013)
Written by a former trader at The Galleon Group (the hedge fund at the center of history’s largest insider-trading scandal), THE BUY SIDE is Turney Duff’s high-adrenaline journey through the trading underworld as well as a searing look at an after-hours Wall Street culture where sex and drugs are the quid pro quo and a billion isn’t enough.
In the mid-2000’s, Turney Duff was, to all appearances, the very picture of American success. One of Wall Street’s hottest traders, he was a rising star with Raj Rajartnam’s legendary Galleon Group before forging his own path with Argus Partners and J.L. Berkowitz. What few knew was that the key to Turney’s remarkable success wasn’t a super genius IQ or family connections, but rather a winning personality — because the real money wasn’t made on the trading floor or behind a computer screen, but, rather, in whispered deals in the city’s most exclusive nightspots, surrounded by the best drugs and the hottest women. For Turney, this created a perilously seductive cycle: the harder he partied, the more connected and successful he became, which meant he could party even harder. In time, he became a wandering paradox, an addictive mess after hours, and King of the Street from nine to five. Along the way, he learned some important lessons about himself, and the too-wild-to-be-believed world of Wall Street trading.
Press and Praise for THE BUY SIDE
Finally reaching the proverbial palace of wisdom after years of greed and high-stakes drugs-and-money excess, former big-spending trading whiz and recovering addict Duff turns in a heavyweight confessional about the perils of a life spent chasing the almighty dollar. From sleepy Kennebunk, Maine, Duff moved to New York in 1994 after graduating with a journalism degree. He soon found work as a sales assistant for the formidable Wall Street giant Morgan Stanley. Little did he know he was embarking on a death-defying roller-coaster ride that would see him go from making $30,000 per year as an assistant to pulling in hundreds of thousands of dollars in salary (plus hundreds of thousands more in bonuses) in the late-1990s tech-boom. But by 2008, Duff’s fortune was dwindling along with the market. Before he knew it, he was stuck with a mortgage he couldn’t pay and was in rehab for cocaine abuse, before finally burning all of his Wall Street bridges and beginning his life again. In fact, he exited this slimy lifestyle just before the life consumed him. Duff lucidly depicts the hedonistic emptiness of the Wall Street culture, as well as the callous, cutthroat environment that makes most careers on the Street very brief. But even though the author’s brutal honesty about his increasingly chaotic personal life is commendable, it’s really more his vivid portrait of the everyday inner workings of life at a hedge fund that fascinates. Duff’s down-to-earth conversational writing style demystifies the daily business of what a stock trader actually does and just how a hedge fund can pull so many billions of dollars seemingly out of thin air. A fast-paced memoir of the easy-money hypercapitalist dream-turned-nightmare.
Looking for a Hollywood-worthy account of Wall Street with lots of juicy details about the high life? Duff, a former financial trader who climbed the ranks at several major firms, provides a fascinating glimpse into the trader’s life as he narrates his journey from smalltown boyhood in Kennebunk, Maine, to hitting the jackpot in Manhattan, to succumbing to the poisons of success. After earning his stripes at Morgan Stanley, he joins the Galleon Group and gets his first tastes of the privileged trader’s lifestyle. Jumping ship to Argus Partners, he finds he has “arrived”: he wears suits from Barneys, lives in a $9,300-per-month apartment, and indulges in escorts, alcohol, and drugs. As his star rises, so does his partying, until cocaine and booze take control and he begins his fall from grace. Despite the money that continues to roll in; a committed, loving relationship; and the impending birth of his daughter, Duff’s downward spiral cannot be stopped. His fast-paced tale will absorb readers, taking them along for a wild ride until they land in a comfortable spot squarely in the middle. Agent: Lisa Leshne, the Leshne Agency.
This is why I keep my money safe and sound under the mattress. You could get high just reading this book. Mamas, don’t let your babies grow up to be Wall Street traders.
–James Patterson, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Along Came a Spider and Kiss the Girls
Turney Duff is a natural storyteller, and his tale of how a naive kid from Maine traded in L.L. Bean for Armani and got sucked into the seamy side of Wall Street is almost impossible to put down. The book is by turns hilarious, harrowing, maddening, and illuminating. After this debut, the smart money will be on Duff.
–Bethany McLean, New York Times bestselling author of The Smartest Guys in the Room and All the Devils Are Here
Turney Duff’s The Buy Side picks up where the Academy Award-winning film about systemic corruption on Wall Street, ‘Inside Job’, leaves off. Duff, who at one time was the promising rookie on the trading desk at troubled hedge fund Galleon, gives us a front-row seat to the Street’s dark side – but the tale also features a personal story that will have you cheering as Duff fights his way through a jungle of excess and figures out what really matters. To all those who want to rule the market not just during business hours but after hours, beware — you may not have Duff’s survival skills.
–Lawrence G. McDonald, New York Times bestselling author of A Colossal Failure of Common Sense
The Buy Side takes the reader on an extremely wild ride so eloquently and honestly that we never want it to end. Cocaine wants everything you love and everything that loves you. Turney Duff had everything and nothing while trading billions of dollars on a razor’s edge. His book takes you from Wall Street to Skid Row to the Thompson Hotel – and then, mercifully, back to sanity and finding a place in the world. Hang on, The Buy Side is gonna move you around, and there are no seatbelts to keep you from getting hit hard.
–Brian O’Dea, author of High: Confessions of an International Drug Smuggler
The Buy Side is ‘Wall Street’ meets ‘Breaking Bad’ – except that this book is fact not fiction. Turney Duff yields to temptation at every turn, and the sheer volume of criminal behavior he saw, and even participated in, is astonishing…If you want to see Wall Street’s seamy underbelly firsthand, read this book.
–Frank Partnoy, bestselling author of F.I.A.S.C.O and Infectious Greed
If you took Gordon Gekko, Bud Fox, a copy of Bright Lights, Big City, and threw them in a blender with an ounce of cocaine, a bottle of Patron Tequila, and your favorite teddy bear you’d have yourself a Buy Side smoothie. Turney’s my kind of guy; a madman with heart. I couldn’t put the book down.
–Colin Broderick, author of Orangutan
Does Wall Street make people crazy or are crazy people simply attracted to Wall Street? The Buy Side doesn’t get us any closer to answering that question, but along the way we get a look inside perhaps the most ethically-challenged investment firm in recent memory, and a harrowing journey through drug addiction and recovery. This is not a musical comedy; at the end, you’re just relieved that Duff is alive.
–Jared Dillian, author of Street Freak: Money and Madness at Lehman Brothers
Turney Duff’s The Buy Side is the perfect parable for Wall Street’s lost decade. Duff’s account of his rise and fall has it all, from a fast-paced coke-crazed trip through Manhattan nightlife that conjures Bright Lights, Big City, to an eyewitness account of insider trading and front running that reads like a federal indictment. Broke but not broken, Duff ends up better than others on Wall Street have–sober, chastened, and lucky to be alive after the self-destructive excesses of easy money and empty ambition.
–Guy Lawson, New York Times bestselling author of Octopus