Obscure firm handling 1MDB’s offshore funds strips details from website

KUALA LUMPUR, May 15 — A little-known Hong Kong firm managing US$2.3 billion (RM7.6 billion) of 1 Malaysia Development Berhad’s (1MDB) offshore funds has quietly removed details of its key executives amid the controversy of its appointment.

According to a report by Singapore’s Business Times, Bridge Partners has expunged previously available information of senior executives from the fund manager’s website without stating reasons.

“Bridge Partners' asset management team is led by managing director Lobo Lee Kwok Ning, who joined the firm in 2003 and was previously senior vice president of the Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Ltd. The firm's two other directors are Monica Lin and Jack Yim, also individuals with over a decade of experience in Hong Kong's finance sector.

“As of yesterday, details about these key members could no longer be found on the website,” the business newspaper reported today.

Earlier this week, the Business Times had named Bridge Partners as the firm handling 1MDB’s billions that were previously parked in the Cayman Islands, after the amount was transferred to the Hong Kong firm having previously been listed as “assets for sale”.

Bridge Partners and 1MDB have both since been under pressure to explain the transaction, but have only offered that the funds are “safe”.

The US$2.3 billion was among issues highlighted by auditors Deloitte when it signed off on 1MDB’s accounts last month after a nearly one year delay.

Previous auditors KPMG left last year after saying it could not finalised the accounting.

1MDB was incorporated in 2009, after Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak announced the decision to turn the TIA state fund into a federal agency.

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