Tim Leissner has left the Goldman Sach as the bank tries to distance itself from the scandal surrounding Malaysia’s prime minister and the firm 1MDB, which is the country’s troubled state investment fund.
Leissner was the driving force behind Goldman’s involvement in a series of controversial bond deals for the fund. He took personal leave in January, now he is gone rom thefirm.
According to FT, Leissner spent more than a decade of his 18-year career with the bank in Asia, taking a series of jobs in Singapore and Hong Kong and ultimately being named chairman of the bank’s Southeast Asia division in July 2014.
His close relationships with power brokers in Kuala Lumpur, including Malaysia’s prime minister, Najib Razak, who chairs 1MDB’s advisory board, produced what one close observer has described as a “golden period” for Goldman.
Najib’s critics allege, according to FT, that more than $680 million paid into his personal bank account was linked to 1MDB. Both Najib and 1MDB deny they are guilty of any crimes.
FT reports that Goldman earned unusually large fees underwriting a series of bonds in 2012 and 2013 for the investment fund. The biggest deal was worth $3bn and earned the bank $300m — a fee many times the standard rate.
Goldman confirmed today that Leissner had left, but declined to comment further.