Australian corporate regulator under scrutiny for past Goldman job and 1MDB

Shipton has been called for questioning over his alleged involvement in the 1MDB scandal when he worked with Goldman Sachs as its Asia Pacific head of government and regulatory affairs from 2009 to 2013. — Reuters pic
Shipton has been called for questioning over his alleged involvement in the 1MDB scandal when he worked with Goldman Sachs as its Asia Pacific head of government and regulatory affairs from 2009 to 2013. — Reuters pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 21 — The global spotlight on the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) financial scandal continues to spread and the latest person to be caught in the circle is Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) chief James Shipton.

UK-based paper The Guardian reported today that the top corporate regulator has been called before the Australian senate for questioning over his alleged involvement in the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) financial scandal when he worked with US investment bank Goldman Sachs as its Asia Pacific head of government and regulatory affairs from 2009 to 2013.

“Rightly or wrongly, this issue may come to reflect on Mr Shipton who now has the mammoth task of restoring trust in our corporate regulator, so it’s important to get this out in the open.

“Mr Shipton should take the chance at estimates today to address any potential involvement in 1MDB, get this on public record, and answer questions about any potential reflections on or implications for his position.

“Following the revelations of the royal commission, Mr Shipton has a very big task ahead of him. I hope he takes the chance to clear up any concerns,” Greens senator Peter Whish-Wilson was quoted saying.

However, ASIC senior executive leader for corporate affairs Matthew Abbott told The Guardian that Shipton had nothing to do with the 1MDB transactions.

Apparently, his duties at Goldman Sachs were only about regulatory policy where he dealt with international, regional and domestic policy affecting the bank.

“In this role he was not involved in transactions, nor was he responsible for the firm’s regulatory compliance,” Abbott was quoted saying.