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An image of the award poster case.

An elderly ex-investment banker is offering a reward of $ 10,000 for the return of valuable letters and old photographs contained in a briefcase that went missing from his room at Eureka’s Carter House Inn on Sunday morning.

Michel David-Weill, the 86-year-old descendant of a powerful French family of investment bankers, had traveled to Humboldt County to be able to see the redwoods, said Karen Ledet, one of his employees who helps him now to search for his lost possessions. .

The briefcase contained commercial papers, his French passport, his green card and an envelope containing $ 5,000 in cash, but none of that really matters to him, Ledet said. All that interests him are the old family photos and a few letters from his parents that were also in the business.

“His brother died in a concentration camp just before the end of the war,” Ledet said, “so these items cannot be replaced. “

Former chairman and CEO of Wall Street investment firm Lazard Frères, David-Weill was once among the world’s most powerful financiers, profiled in Vanity Fair, Forbes and Institutional investor.

When World War II broke out, David-Weill’s father was in New York City on business, Ledet said. As a child at the time, David-Weill remained in occupied France with his mother and younger sister. At 11, in the last year of the Nazi occupation, he went into hiding with his mother and younger sister in the French village of Béduer, according to the 2008 book. The last tycoons: the secret story of Lazard Frères & Co.

Ledet said his employer was not interested in filing a complaint and just hopes that “if anyone has a conscience” he will return his belongings to him. The award poster, reproduced below, notes that these items are “very sentimental”.

Ledet asks anyone who finds the photos and / or letters to call him at 631-681-3899, and no questions will be asked. Another number, if she doesn’t answer, is 631-737-4430.

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