Nelson and Claudia Peltz

NET WORTH: $1.53 billion

SOURCE OF WEALTH: Triangle Industries, Trian Fund Management

FUNDING AREAS: Jewish Causes, Health, Education, Arts & Culture

OVERVIEW: Nelson Peltz seems to be pretty quiet about his philanthropy, so it can be difficult to tell how much he has contributed over the years. In 2003, he and his wife founded the Nelson & Claudia Peltz Family Foundation. He is also on the board of several non-profits, where he has made larger contributions, though specific amounts are hard to come by. Jewish causes are one of his top interests.

BACKGROUND: Nelson Peltz grew up in Brooklyn, and attended the Wharton School at University of Pennsylvania before dropping out to work at his father’s wholesale food distribution business, which he eventually took over and turned into a Fortune 100 Industry, taking the company public and raising its sales from $2.5 million to $150 million. Eventually Peltz sold the company, and in 1997 made his first major acquisition with Snapple. He successfully turned the company around, and sold it three years later. In 2005 he cofounded Trian Fund Management, and has made investments in companies such as Wendy’s.

ISSUES:

JEWISH CAUSES: Nelson Peltz has long been active in the Jewish community, and has been described as a heavy contributor and compassionate leader. He is Co-Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Simon Wiesenthal Center. “I like the fact the Wiesenthal Center is a hard-hitting social action organization that wants to do something about intolerance, bigotry, and hatred,” he says.  

HEALTH: Through their foundation, Peltz and his wife have supported groups like New York-Presbyterian Hospital, Weill Cornell Medical Center, and Hospital Special Surgery, Peltz is a member of the Board of Overseers of the Weill Cornell Medical College.

EDUCATION: The Nelson & Claudia Peltz Family Foundation's grantmaking has supported places like Yale University, where at least one of his sons attended, and Rye Country Day School.

ART & CULTURE: Peltz is on the board of the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum.

LOOKING FORWARD: Peltz may be over 70, but he made much of his fortune within the last decade, and has not shown any signs of slowing down yet. Perhaps when he decides to wind down his business career, we will see an increase in his philanthropy, or perhaps it will be left to his 10 children to disburse more of his fortune to charity. He has also mentioned Bill Gates as a role model, so perhaps we will see him sign the Giving Pledge. If there is one place we could expect to see expansion, it would be in the field of tolerance and multiculturalism. “We have to be on watch for intolerance,” Peltz has said. “And I don’t just mean Anti-Semitism, I mean intolerance against African-Americans, Hispanics, Asians, and others.”

CONTACT:

Nelson & Claudia Peltz Family Foundation

c/o Trian Partners

280 Park Ave. #41 F

New York, NY 10017

(212) 451-3000

LINKS:

Simon Wiesenthal Center

Milken Institute

State Street Strategic Grantmaking