Goldman Sachs hired the daughter of a key ally of Malaysia's prime minister at a time when the US bank was seeking to expand its business in the country, it emerged on Thursday.
The bank made the appointment as Tim Leissner, then Goldman's co-president for Southeast Asia, was working to forge closer business ties in Malaysia, where it would later win valuable business with the government's 1MDB investment fund.
Investigators are probing allegations of misconduct and the suspected misappropriation of state funds in relation to 1MDB, whose advisory board is chaired by Najib Razak, Malaysia's prime minister.
Goldman was granted a licence to operate in Malaysia in December 2009 and began pitching for business. Mr Leissner later played a key role in controversial bond sales for the fund.
In 2010, Goldman hired Anis Jamaludin, daughter of Jamaluddin Jarjis, a Malaysian politician and close confidant of Mr Najib. She worked for the bank as an analyst for months, a person familiar with the matter said.