Investment management firm Goldman Sachs is looking into the hiring of the daughter of one of Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak’s close associates around the time when the firm was in talks with 1MDB, claimed The Wall Street Journal.
Quoting sources, the WSJ said this was part of an internal probe on Goldman’s dealings with 1MDB as well as the firm’s former Southeast Asia chairperson, Tim Leissner.
The financial daily reported that Leissner had recommended that the firm hire the politician’s daughter as a bank analyst in 2010.
The woman is said to have gone through the same interview process as other candidates and was cleared by Goldman’s legal and compliance departments.
One of the WSJ’s sources said Leissner was not the main relationship banker with 1MDB at the time of the hire.
Malaysiakini is withholding the name of the individual hired pending a response.
Leissner was involved in 1MDB deals, including a US$3 billion bond in early 2013, which earned the bank nearly US$300 million in fees.
He quit the company in February and has since been subpoenaed to facilitate investigations into 1MDB by the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
The prime minister has denied misusing public funds for personal gain.
He has also accused the WSJ of conspiring with those who want to topple him but has still not sued the newspaper despite a threat to do so.
Last July, WSJ also exposed the RM2.6 billion political donation and RM42 million from SRC International which was deposited into Najib’s accounts.
The financial daily has stood by its reports despite those linked to Najib accusing it of having an ulterior agenda.
Malaysiakini has also e-mailed the Prime Minister’s Office and 1MDB over the latest report. – Malaysiakini