When Brentwood lawyer E. Randol “Randy” Schoenberg decided to help a family friend retrieve a painting stolen by the Nazis during World War II, some joked that the tale could be made into a movie.
“Woman in Gold,” starring Helen Mirren and Ryan Reynolds, debuted in theaters last week and tells the story behind Schoenberg’s late client Maria Altmann and their successful quest from 1998-2006 to recoup five Gustav Klimt paintings that had been taken from her family.
“There were several documentaries being made while this case was going on, so (a movie treatment) was always something people half-joked about,” Schoenberg, 48, said. “My sister called me Randy Brockovich.”
Even though Hollywood is known for overly dramatizing true stories, the lawyer said he’s happy with the factual way the film turned out.
“I was very emotional the first time I saw it in the theater,” he said. “There are so many parts of the movie that are really true and evoke these memories of what I went through with Maria and my family during that time.”
Plus, it can’t hurt to be portrayed by Reynolds, who was dubbed “Sexiest Man Alive” by People magazine in 2010.
“I thought Ryan Reynolds did a great job,” Schoenberg said. “But you don’t look at me and say, ‘He’s the sexiest man alive.’”
Noor Menai came to his current job as chief executive of downtown L.A.’s CTBC Bank USA, a subsidiary of Taiwan’s CTBC Bank Co. Ltd., about four years ago, after decades of working for hard-charging Wall Street firms such as New York finance giant Citigroup.
So when it came time to distribute the bonus pool after his first year at the bank, Menai followed typical American finance industry protocol. He gave his “stars” some extra money as a reward for their production and spread the rest out. But that earned him a rebuke from the chairman of the Taiwanese parent bank.
“He said, ‘Noor, you should give more to the people that aren’t stars,’” Menai, who turned 50 last week, recalled.
His boss advised Menai to fatten up the bonuses of those who didn’t stand out. His logic was that the stars were always going to be self-motivated and would do well financially, while an extra bump for everyone else would only make them feel more like part of the team and motivate them to do better the next year.
After that first year, Menai allocated the bonus pool Taiwanese style.
“I was able to see the wisdom of that,” he said.
For reprint and licensing requests for this article, CLICK HERE.