Goldman Sachs Group Inc. hired the daughter of an ally to Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak around the time the firm’s bankers were pitching business to the country’s government investment fund, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing unidentified people.
The New-York based firm is looking into the 2010 hiring as part of an investigation into the company’s actions related to 1Malaysia Development Bhd. and into Tim Leissner, Goldman Sachs’s former Southeast Asia chairman, the WSJ reported. Goldman is among several banks under investigation by U.S. authorities over their hiring practices, the paper said.
Leissner was entangled in a sprawling investigation into 1MDB after U.S. authorities issued the German national a subpoena about the Malaysian matter in late February, people briefed on the matter said earlier this week. Investigators have been trying to trace whether money might have flowed out of the fund and illegally into personal accounts. Leissner left Goldman last month and hasn’t been available to comment.
The firm has found that Leissner recommended the hiring of Anis Jamaludin, the daughter of the late Jamaludin Jarjis, a senior politician and close aide to Malaysia’s Najib, the WSJ reported. Anis Jamaludin worked as a bank analyst in Singapore for three months in 2010, the newspaper said.
A person familiar with the matter confirmed Anis Jamaludin worked at Goldman for three months in 2010.
Edward Naylor, a spokesman in Hong Kong for Goldman, declined to comment. The Journal couldn’t reach Anis Jamaludin for comment. Najib’s office didn’t immediately reply to an e-mail seeking comment, while Anis could not be reached immediately.
Goldman is working with an outside law firm to conduct an internal examination and is reviewing its own role in helping 1MDB raise capital, people familiar with the matter told Bloomberg earlier this week. There is no indication that Goldman engaged in any wrongdoing, and the bank is cooperating with the Justice Department’s efforts to gather information, they said. Goldman received above-average commissions for arranging a series of bond sales for 1MDB in 2012 and 2013.