June 24, 1942 |
Brooklyn, New York, U.S.
|Residence||Bedford, New York
Palm Beach, Florida
|Alma mater||University of Pennsylvania (dropped out)|
|Occupation||Founder of Trian Fund Management|
|Known for||Founding and leading Trian Fund Management|
|Net worth||US$1.67 billion (March 2018)|
|Board member of||Wendy's Company (Chairman)
Mondelēz International Inc.
Ingersoll Rand plc
Legg Mason, Inc.
|Spouse(s)||wife 1 (divorced)
wife 2 (divorced)
|Children||10 (8 with Heffner)|
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. He is non-executive chairman of Wendy's Company, and a director of Legg Mason, Mondelēz International and Ingersoll Rand. He is a former director of H.J. Heinz Company, and a former chief executive officer (CEO) of Triangle Industries.
Early life and education
Peltz was born to a Jewish family in 1942 in Brooklyn, New York, the son of Claire (née Wechsler) and Maurice Herbert Peltz. 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, but never completed his degree.
In 1963, he dropped out of the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School with the intention of becoming a ski instructor in Oregon. 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) to restaurants in New York.
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. Over the next 10 years, Peltz bought up several food companies, and in 1972, he and his brother took their company, then called Flagstaff Corp., with $150 million in sales, public. In 1982 his brother Robert bought back the assets of Peltz Food from Flagstaff after it went bankrupt.
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. Triangle was sold to Pechiney in 1988.
In 1997, through an investment vehicle they controlled, Triarc Cos, 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.
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, Cadbury, Kraft Foods, Ingersoll Rand, Wendy’s, DuPont, Mondelēz, PepsiCo, State Street Corporation  and Family Dollar.
In 2007, Trian bought a 3% share of Cadbury-Schweppes. 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.
In April 2008, it was announced that Triarc Cos. would merge with burger chain Wendy's. The merger was completed on September 29, 2008. 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. 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. In September 2011, Ed Garden, Trian’s Chief Investment Officer, joined the Family Dollar board.
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 (NASDAQ: MDLZ).
In February 2014, as a beneficial owner of approximately $1.2 billion of PepsiCo, Inc. (NYSE: PEP) 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. 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.
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.
In May 2015, Trian was unsuccessful in a bitter proxy contest to appoint four of its nominees to the board of DuPont. 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.
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. 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.
In February 2018, Peltz announced his departure from the board of Mondelez International, to be succeeded by Trian President Peter May.
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 prior marriages. Among Peltz's children are actors Nicola Peltz and Will Peltz. His son Brad Peltz was a professional ice hockey player who played in the ECHL during the 2012–13 ECHL season.
Peltz resides in Bedford, New York. He also owns Montsorrel, as house in Palm Beach, Florida previously owned by Anita Young, the sister of Georgia O'Keeffe. In 2015, he began a refurbishment and expansion project for the property.
Wealth and philanthropy
Awards and recognition
He was recognized by the National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD) in 2010, 2011 and 2012 as among the most influential people in global corporate governance.
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