FORMER Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein was today named as the “unidentified high-ranking” executive who meet former prime minister Najib Razak in New York in 2013.
Blankfein, who resigned as CEO last month but remains as chairman, also helped to forge ties between the investment bank and Malaysia, years before the bank helped 1MDB raise billions via bond sales, reports Bloomberg.
The first meeting between Blankfein and Najib was in 2009 and arranged by Tim Leissner, who once headed Goldman Sachs’ Southeast Asia operations, and another central figure in the 1Malaysia Development Bhd scandal – Low Taek Jho, better known as Jho Low.
Last week, the United States Department of Justice indicted Leissner and issued a warrant of arrest for another Goldman Sachs banker, Roger Ng. Malaysian police arrested Ng last Friday.
Goldman Sachs helped 1MDB raise US$6.5 billion that was used to fund development projects, among others, and netted it US$600 million (RM2.5 billion) as fees.
US court papers show that Low set the agenda for the November 2009 meeting and included a “debrief” with Najib and the “1MDB boys” after the Goldman Sachs executives left.
In 2009, Najib was in his first year as prime minister the visit to New York included meetings with other business leaders and American investors.
THE MALAYSIAN INSIGHT