Feb 4, 2020 - Economy & Business

Goldman banker banned from industry amid 1MDB scandal

Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

Andrea Vella, the former co-head of investment banking at Goldman Sachs Asia, has been banned from the banking industry for life by the Federal Reserve Board.

Why it matters: Goldman Sachs faces billions of dollars in fines for helping facilitate the "heist of the century" in Malaysia. Vella "engaged in unsafe and unsound practices," says the Fed, by failing to properly escalate concerns about Jho Low, the financier who masterminded the scheme and who is now a fugitive.

  • Vella's former colleagues Tim Leissner and Roger Ng were similarly banned last year.

As I wrote earlier: The bank facilitated the 1MDB fraud, earning almost $600 million in fees on three bond deals from the deeply corrupt Malaysian fund. That's about 200 times more than the normal amount a sovereign issuer would pay. Each time, as soon as Goldman provided the money to 1MDB, Low would steal it.

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Goldman Sachs holds its first investor day

Photo: Ramin Talaie/Corbis via Getty Images

For the first time in its 151-year history, Goldman Sachs, the storied investment bank, opened its doors to investors and others for a day of presentations about its various business lines — and how it has been remaking itself.

Why it matters: David Solomon has been CEO for just more than a year, and under him, the bank has pivoted toward the mass market and making other strategic moves that could have a big effect on the evolution of modern banking.

Go deeperArrowUpdated Jan 29, 2020

Goldman's baby step in the right direction on board diversity

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Goldman Sachs announced Thursday that it won't help take European and North American companies public unless they have at least one "diverse" board director, effective July 1.

The big picture: In general, this is a positive development. Board diversity has been shown to improve company performance, per numerous academic studies, and far too many issuers continue to rely on bogus "pipeline" or meritocracy excuses for their boardroom homogeny.

Go deeperArrowJan 24, 2020

Goldman Sachs CEO says bank won't take companies public without one female or minority board candidate

Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon. Photo: Michael Kovac/Getty Images

Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon told CNBC Thursday the investment bank won't help companies go public unless they have at least one diverse board candidate, “with a focus on women,” starting in July.

Why it matters: Government and shareholders are pressing public companies to put more women on boards. Goldman’s announcement will push some private companies to think about diversifying their boards before going public.

Go deeperArrowJan 23, 2020