1MDB: Najib's daughter says she got ex-Goldman banker's help for a job at TPG Capital

Former Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak with his daughter Nooryana Najwa Najib in a post on Instagram on June 5, 2019. PHOTO: YANANAJIB/INSTAGRAM

KUALA LUMPUR (BLOOMBERG) - The daughter of former Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak said she got a job with TPG Capital after Tim Leissner, a former Goldman Sachs Group banker and star witness in the ongoing bribery trial linked to 1MDB in the US, made the introductions.

Ms Nooryana Najwa Najib said the introduction to TPG was made after she was told that getting a job with Goldman Sachs' "demanding analyst programme" could be a conflict of interest given that the investment bank does business with the Malaysian government.

Her comments, made on Facebook, confirm the close relationship that Leissner, Goldman's former South-east Asia chairman, and his former colleague Roger Ng enjoyed with Najib and his family.

Leissner is testifying against Ng, who prosecutors say received millions of dollars in kickbacks for helping to embezzle funds from state investment fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), which was founded by Najib in 2009 to promote economic development in Malaysia.

"Meeting senior banking professionals such as Roger Ng and Tim Leissner was nothing more than an opportunity to learn more about Goldman Sachs' demanding analyst programme," she said in the post in response to Leissner's testimony that he tried to get Najib's children jobs at Goldman in return for business.

"Any college senior will attest that you need to do your groundwork and network with industry professionals in order to land a competitive job that matches your interests," she added.

Ms Nooryana eventually interviewed as an intern analyst at TPG's London office.

"This meant you're at the bottom of the food chain. Besides your core job scope, you're also responsible for the spadework. You're the PowerPoint girl, the photocopying girl, the coffee girl and the delivery girl, just to name a few," she added.

TPG had a strict compliance process, and given her father's position in the government, Ms Nooryana said she was not allowed to participate in or work on any Malaysian investor accounts.

Najib in his Facebook post on Wednesday (Feb 23) said that none of his children have ever been offered a job at Goldman.

Leissner earlier pleaded guilty to money laundering and bribery of foreign officials and is cooperating with the United States for leniency at his sentencing. Ng has pleaded not guilty.

Leissner in his testimony on Tuesday said Najib wanted to get his children jobs at the bank in return for working with the firm on US$6.5 billion (S$8.8 billion) bond deals.

Leissner said he was worried it might be perceived as "a bribe in kind" when, at the time, reports had emerged about other banks coming under scrutiny for giving jobs to prominent families in Asia.

Ultimately, a Goldman official rejected Leissner's request, he said.

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