Nelson Peltz

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Nelson Peltz
Born (1942-06-24) June 24, 1942 (age 78)
Brooklyn, New York, U.S.[1]
OccupationBusinessman and investor
Known forFounder of Trian Fund Management
Net worthUS$1.7 billion (June 2020)[2]
Board member ofWendy's Company (Chairman)
Legg Mason, Inc.[3]
Procter & Gamble
The Madison Square Garden Company [5]
Spouse(s)First wife (divorced)
Second wife (divorced)
Claudia Heffner[6]
Children10, including Nicola, and Will

Nelson Peltz (born June 24, 1942) is an American billionaire businessman and investor. He is a founding partner, together with Peter W. May and Edward P. Garden, of Trian Fund Management, an alternative investment management fund based in New York.[7] He is non-executive chairman of Wendy's Company, and a director of Legg Mason,[3] Procter & Gamble, Sysco and The Madison Square Garden Company. He is a former director of H.J. Heinz Company, Mondelēz International[8] and Ingersoll Rand[9] and a former chief executive officer (CEO) of Triangle Industries.[10]

Early life and education[edit]

Peltz was born to a Jewish family in 1942 in Brooklyn, New York, the son of Claire (née Wechsler; 1905–2007) and Maurice Herbert Peltz (1901–1977).[11][12][13] Peltz was enrolled at the undergraduate program at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, where he joined the Fraternity of Phi Gamma Delta,[14] but never completed his degree.[11]

Business career[edit]

In 1963, he dropped out of the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School with the intention of becoming a ski instructor in Oregon.[15] However, he ended up driving a delivery truck for A. Peltz & Sons, a wholesale food distribution business founded by his grandfather Adolph in 1896, which delivered fresh produce and frozen food (Snow Top)[16] to restaurants in New York.[6][11]

His father gave him free rein with the company, and over the next 15 years he and his older brother, Robert B. Peltz, grew the business gradually shifting the product line from produce to institutional frozen foods.[17] Over the next 10 years, Peltz bought up several food companies, and in 1973, he and his brother together with Peltz's business partner, Peter May, who joined Peltz in 1972, took their company, then called Flagstaff Corp., with $150 million in sales, public.[11][15] In 1979, Peltz sold Flagstaff's foodservice business division to a group of investors. Two years later, the foodservice business went bankrupt and the lender asked Peltz to salvage their outstanding loan. Within a year, the loans were repaid as Peltz rebuilt the business.[17]

In the 1980s, Peltz and his business partner, Peter May, who had joined Flagstaff as chief financial officer after having been its accountant, went looking for new acquisitions. In April 1983, the two bought a stake in vending-machine and wire company Triangle Industries Inc. with the idea of using it to make acquisitions, building it into a Fortune 100 industrial company and the largest packaging company in the world.[18][19] Triangle was sold to Pechiney in 1988.[20][21]

Triarc Companies, Inc[edit]

In 1997, through an investment vehicle they controlled, Triarc Companies, Inc.,[22] Peltz and May acquired Snapple, from Quaker Oats. Snapple, together with other beverage brands was sold to Cadbury Schweppes in 2000. The Snapple turnaround was featured as a Harvard Business School case study.[22]

In 2005, Peltz, May, and Ed Garden, founded Trian Fund Management, L.P. As an activist investing firm, Trian has invested in such companies as Heinz,[23] Cadbury, Kraft Foods,[24] Ingersoll Rand,[25] Wendy's,[26] DuPont,[27] Mondelēz,[8] PepsiCo,[28] State Street Corporation,[29] Procter & Gamble[30] and Family Dollar.[31]

In 2006, Trian was involved in a proxy contest with Heinz to get five independent directors on the board of Heinz. Trian succeeded in getting two members on the board, including Peltz.[32]

In 2007, Trian bought a 3% share of Cadbury-Schweppes (Dr Pepper Snapple). Cadbury Schweppes Americas Beverages was later spun off from the Cadbury Schweppes confectionery group. In 2007, Trian also bought $1.8 billion in shares of Kraft Foods, roughly a 3% of the total equity of the food maker.[33]

In April 2008, it was announced that Triarc Cos. would merge with burger chain Wendy's.[34] The merger was completed on September 29, 2008.[35] The new company was named Wendy's Arby's Group and traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol WEN. On July 25, 2011, Wendy's Arby's sold Arby's to Roark Capital Group and changed its name to The Wendy's Company.[36] According to CNBC, on February 15, 2011, Trian offered to buy Family Dollar for $55–60 per share.

In February 2011, Trian announced it had accumulated an 8% stake in the Family Dollar company and indicated a willingness to participate in a take private LBO for the company with a total value of about $7 to $8 billion. This overture was rejected by the company management and board of directors.[37] In September 2011, Ed Garden, Trian's Chief Investment Officer, joined the Family Dollar board.[38]


Peltz was appointed to the Ingersoll-Rand board of directors in 2012.[39] The company announced major initiatives to enhance shareholder value in late 2012. In 2014, Peltz resigned from the Ingersoll-Rand board, after the spin-off of Allegion.[40]

In August 2013, it was reported that Trian held an approximate $1.25 billion stake in DuPont.[27]

In January 2014, as one of the company's largest shareholders, with a current beneficial ownership of more than 46 million shares, Peltz was appointed to the board of directors of global snacking company, Mondelēz International.[41][42]

In February 2014, as a beneficial owner of approximately $1.2 billion of PepsiCo, Inc. common shares, Trian publicly released a letter to PepsiCo's board of directors and a white paper detailing why separating global snacks and beverages into two independent public companies would be the right long-term decision for the business and would create substantial value for shareholders.[43] Trian said it would immediately begin to engage fellow shareholders in a public dialogue with the goal of creating a groundswell of support for a separation of snacks and beverages.[44]

In February 2014, Forbes listed Peltz as one of the 25 highest-earning hedge fund managers in 2013, with total earnings of $430 million, ranked 16th.[45]

In May 2015, Trian was unsuccessful in a bitter proxy contest to appoint four of its nominees to the board of DuPont.[46] Five months later the CEO of DuPont, Ellen Kullman, resigned; at the time DuPont acknowledged lower than expected earnings and the need to accelerate a cost-cutting plan.[47]

In October 2015, Trian bought a $2.5 billion stake in General Electric.[48]

Procter & Gamble[edit]

In October 2017, Peltz tried but failed to acquire a seat on the board of Procter & Gamble, in which Trian has a 1.5% stake.[49] On November 15, 2017, it was discovered that per a revision of all votes, which Peltz acknowledged to have resulted in a remarkably close battle, Peltz had in fact won the proxy battle, recognized as the largest in corporate history. On December 15, Procter & Gamble named Peltz to its board, although it stated that Peltz had nominally lost the proxy vote.[50]

In February 2018, Peltz announced his departure from the board of Mondelez International, to be succeeded by Trian partner Peter May.[51] In March 2018, Peltz joined the Procter & Gamble board of directors.[52][53]

In March 2019, Peltz joined Canadian cannabis producer Aurora Cannabis.[citation needed] In June 2019, Peltz's Trian announced an investment in Ferguson, plc, a distributor of plumbing and heating products in North America.[54]

Personal life[edit]

Peltz has been married three times. His third wife is Claudia Heffner, a former fashion model, with whom he has eight children. He has two children from his first marriage.[55] Among Peltz's children are actors Nicola Peltz[56] and Will Peltz.[57] His son Brad Peltz was drafted by the Ottawa Senators.[58]

Peltz resides at his home Montsorrel, in Palm Beach, Florida. Montsorrel was previously owned by Anita Young, the sister of Georgia O'Keeffe. In 2015, he began a refurbishment and expansion project for the property.[59] He also resides in Bedford, New York.[2]

Wealth and philanthropy[edit]

According to Forbes Magazine, he has a net worth of $1.51 billion as of February 2017. This makes him the 432nd richest person in the US.[60]

In 2005, Peltz was among 53 entities that contributed the maximum of $250,000 to the second inauguration of President George W. Bush.[61][62][63] He is also a contributor to Jewish causes.[64]

Peltz has sat on the Board of Trustees of New York-Presbyterian Hospital since 2019 [65]

Awards and recognition[edit]

He was said by the National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD) in 2010, 2011 and 2012 to be among the most influential people in global corporate governance.[66]


  1. ^ New York, New York, Birth Index, 1910–1965
  2. ^ a b "Forbes profile: Nelson Peltz". Forbes. Retrieved 9 June 2020.
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  5. ^ "Madison Square Garden to Explore Split, Nominates Nelson Peltz to Board". The Wall Street Journal. October 28, 2014.
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  7. ^ "Company Overview of Trian Fund Management, L.P." Bloomberg Businessweek. Retrieved April 4, 2012.
  8. ^ a b Duane D. Stanford (January 21, 2014). "Mondelez Names Peltz Director as Investor Seen Pushing Cuts". Bloomberg.
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  13. ^ "Paid Notice: Deaths Peltz, Claire". The New York Times. 2007-04-12.
  14. ^ "Wall Street Frats". Business Insider. Retrieved 20 February 2013.
  15. ^ a b Katherine Burton and Sree Vidya Bhaktavatsalam (September 20, 2012). "Peltz Gets $1 Billion as Activist Strategy Impresses". Bloomberg News.
  16. ^ Palm Beach Daily News: "Matisse - The Younger Coming" by Cholly Knickerbocker January 15, 1952 | "Frozen food heiress Gladys Peltz (Poppa owns Snow Crop)..."
  17. ^ a b "Sale Won't End Career Of Peltz Food's Owner". The New York Times. August 26, 1988.
  18. ^ "Companies Built Up By Buyout Partners". October 6, 1986.
  19. ^ "Entrepreneurs Turn Tin Into Gold Sale Of Can Firm May Bring Owners $830 Million". Sun Sentinel. November 27, 1988.
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  21. ^ Thebault, Reis. "Who is Michael Milken, the 'junk bond king' Trump just pardoned?". Washington Post.
  22. ^ a b John Deighton (February 4, 2002). "How a Juicy Brand Came Back to Life". Harvard Business School.
  23. ^ Miles Weiss (February 14, 2013). "Peltz Helped Spur Heinz Turnaround Setting Stage for Bid". Bloomberg.
  24. ^ Antoine Gara (January 21, 2014). "Pepsi Challenge: Where's the Pact Between Mondelez and Trian?".
  25. ^ "Ingersoll-Rand to spin off security business -sources". Reuters. December 9, 2012.
  26. ^ Michelle Celarier (August 15, 2013). "Peltz dines on Wendy's stake". New York Post.
  27. ^ a b Jack Kaskey and Beth Jinks (August 15, 2013). "Peltz's Trian Said to Meet DuPont's CEO, Boosts Stake". Bloomberg.
  28. ^ "Let my Fritos go". The Economist. March 1, 2014.
  29. ^ Sharon Terlep (January 28, 2013). "State Street Stake Pared by Activist Investor". The Wall Street Journal.
  30. ^ "Trian Builds $3 Billion Stake in P&G". The Wall Street Journal. February 14, 2017.
  31. ^ Maureen Farrell (January 9, 2014). "Family Dollar: Next Retailer Up for Sale?". The Wall Street Journal.
  32. ^ Dan Burrows (August 14, 2006). "Heinz proxy fight comes down to the wire".
  33. ^ Shawn Tully and Matthew Boyle (June 25, 2007). "Peltz Has His Slice of Kraft - Now what?".
  34. ^ Josh Fineman and Zachary Mider (April 24, 2008). "Peltz's Triarc to Buy Wendy's, Combine It With Arby's". Bloomberg.
  35. ^ "Triarc and Wendy's Complete Merger Transaction". Business Wire. September 29, 2008.
  36. ^ "Wendy's/Arby's Group Completes Sale of Arby's to Roark Capital Group". Wendy's. July 5, 2011.
  37. ^ Chris Burritt (March 3, 2011). "Family Dollar Rejects Buyout Offer From Peltz's Trian, Adopts Poison Pill". Bloomberg.
  38. ^ "Family Dollar Appoints Edward Garden of Trian Partners to Board of Directors". Bloomberg. September 29, 2011.
  39. ^ Das, Anupreeta; Terlep, Sharon (August 13, 2012). "Activist Peltz Wins Board Seat At Ingersoll". The Wall Street Journal. p. B1.
  40. ^ "Peltz Won't Stand for Re-Election to Ingersoll-Rand Board". The Wall Street Journal. March 31, 2014.
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  43. ^ Duane D. Stanford (February 20, 2014). "Peltz Renews PepsiCo Breakup Proposal in Rebuke of CEO Nooyi". Bloomberg.
  44. ^ Siddharth Cavale (February 20, 2014). "Nelson Peltz revives campaign to split up PepsiCo". Reuters.
  45. ^ Vardi, Nathan (Feb 26, 2014), "The 25 Highest-Earning Hedge Fund Managers And Traders", Forbes
  46. ^ Bunge, Jacob (May 13, 2015). "DuPont Defeats Peltz, Trian in Board Fight - WSJ". Retrieved May 14, 2015.
  47. ^ Merced, Michael J. De La (2015-10-05). "DuPont Chief Executive Ellen Kullman to Retire". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2015-10-06.
  48. ^ "Nelson Peltz's Trian takes $2.5 billion stake in General Electric". Reuters. 5 October 2015.
  49. ^ "An epic but inconsequential proxy vote at Procter & Gamble". The Economist. 12 October 2017.
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  57. ^ "Matthew William Cooper Peltz - IMDb". Internet Movie Database (IMDb). Retrieved April 2, 2012.
  58. ^ "Brad Peltz". Retrieved March 12, 2014.
  59. ^ Bandell, B. "Billionaire Nelson Peltz inks big mortgage on massive Palm Beach mansion", South Florida Business Journal, 8 May 2015. Accessed 28 May 2015
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  61. ^ Drinkard, Jim (2005-01-17). "Donors get good seats, great access this week". USA Today. Retrieved 2008-05-25.
  62. ^ "Financing the inauguration". USA Today. 2005-01-16. Retrieved 2008-05-25.
  63. ^ "Some question inaugural's multi-million price tag". USA Today. 2005-01-14. Retrieved 2008-05-25.
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External links[edit]