Skip to content
Subscriber Only

Goldman’s Star in Hong Kong Turns Into 1MDB Scandal’s Enigmatic Man

  • Andrea Vella is on leave and in limbo amid probe into 1MDB
  • Firm disputes prosecutors’ claims about ex-Asia banking chief
From left to right: Jho Low, Andrea Vella, Tim Leissner
From left to right: Jho Low, Andrea Vella, Tim LeissnerPhotos: Finance Asia, Getty Images
Updated on

Andrea Vella was Goldman Sachs’s top dealmaker in Hong Kong. He had a nose for splashy trades, a fondness for the Bentley Continental, and a vague enough resemblance to George Clooney that there was even a joke among some bankers: “What would George do?”

That was almost a year ago. Then U.S. prosecutors dragged him into one of the biggest Wall Street scandals in a generation. Without charging him, they filed court documents tying Vella to the conspiracy that looted billions of dollars from the Malaysian investment fund known as 1MDB. The bank promptly put him on leave.