Goldman Sachs chairman leaves as 1MDB scandal deepens


26 February AtoZForex, London – Tim Leissner, Goldman Sachs’ ex Southeast Asia chairman, has left the investment bank, which is struggling to defend itself from the scandal surrounding Malaysia’s prime minister and 1Malaysia Development Bhd. (1MDB), the country’s troubled investment fund.

The move by Mr Leissner, the main force behind Goldman’s involvement in a number of controversial bond deals for the state fund, had been widely viewed after he moved to Los Angeles at the end of last year taking a personal leave from Goldman Sachs in January.

1MDB denies being guilty

Mr Leissner spent more than a decade of his 18-year financial career with the investment bank in Asia, taking a series of jobs in Hong Kong and Singapore and becoming a chairman of the bank’s Southeast Asia division in July 2014. His close relationships with brokers in Kuala Lumpur, including Malaysia’s Prime Minister, Najib Razak, who chairs 1MDB fund’s advisory board, produced a “golden period” for Goldman.

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Signage for 1MDB is displayed at the site of the Tun Razak Exchange (TRX) project in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Mr Najib’s critics say that more than USD680m paid into his personal account were linked to 1MDB, but last month Malaysia’s attorney general said the PM had no case to answer. Both Mr Najib and 1MDB deny being guilty of any crimes.

Unusual large fees between 2012 & 2013

Goldman Sachs earned unusually large fees for a series of bonds in 2012 and 2013 which were underwritten for the investment fund. The largest deal was worth $3bn and earned the bank $300m.

The investment bank confirmed on Wednesday that Mr Leissner Goldman Sachs chairman leaves, but declined to make any comments. Since the scandal surrounding 1MDB has deepened, Goldman Sachs has struggled to attract new business in Malaysia, shifting down league tables after years of being ranked as the most prominent international investment bank.

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