A Goldman Sachs executive who has been involved in mega-deals between the firm and Malaysia’s troubled investment fund 1MDB has reportedly gone on leave.
Tim Leissner, who was chairman of Goldman’s (GS) Southeast Asian operations, has reportedly moved from the Singapore office back to Los Angeles, and attempts to reach him via email resulted in an automatic reply saying he had gone “on personal leave”, reported Bloomberg.
Leissner spent around a decade of his career in the region, and was an apparent key player in the bank’s relationships with key officials in Malaysia, according to The Financial Times. Goldman was the top foreign advisor in the country, working on $18.8 billion of Malaysian mergers and acquisitions over the past five years, said Bloomberg.
It was during his tenure that Goldman arranged three bond sales in 2012 and 2013 with 1MDB totaling $6.5 billion, making about $593 million for the bank, sources told Bloomberg. Since then, fees from their work in the country have slumped, according to The FT.
1MDB has subsequently been involved in heavy debts and a much-publicized corruption scandal that allegedly involves the transferring of around $700 million from the fund to Malaysia Prime Minister Najib Razak’s personal bank accounts. Razak also stands as the chairman of 1MDB.
On Tuesday, the country’s attorney-general cleared Razak of any wrongdoing, saying that transfers of $681 million to Razak’s account had been traced back to Saudi royals. On Wednesday, Malaysia’s anti-graft agency said they would ask for a review of the attorney-general’s decision, with sources telling Malaysiakini that the agency had recommended three charges against the Prime Minister to the attorney-general.