What Must Nelson Peltz Do to Get Some Respect?

At age 81, with over four decades of dealmaking and corporate cage-rattling under his belt, Nelson Peltz would seem to have pretty much everything.

He’s a billionaire. Until the hedge fund billionaire Ken Griffin came to Palm Beach, Fla., Mr. Peltz had the largest property tax bill in town, with an oceanfront estate estimated to be worth $334 million. His 130-acre property in Bedford, N.Y., known as High Winds, has its own helipad, indoor ice rink and waterfall. He has use of his company’s jet. (But so far, he owns no yacht — he rents one instead.)

He also has an undeniably full life apart from his business: He has two children from his first marriage. He also has eight children (including two sets of twins) with his wife since 1981, the former model Claudia Heffner. His eldest child from that marriage, Matt, is a partner and co-chief investment officer at Mr. Peltz’s Trian Partners.

His photogenic younger children have thrust him into the tabloids and onto the Hollywood red carpet. Nicola, an actress (“Bates Motel,” “Transformers: Age of Extinction,” “Welcome to Chippendales”), married Brooklyn Beckham, son of David and Victoria Beckham, in a splashy wedding at the Peltz Palm Beach estate in 2022. Will is also an actor (“Unfriended,” “Euphoria,” “Manifest”). Brad played hockey for Yale and was drafted by the Ottawa Senators.

Mr. Peltz with Elon Musk, Mr. Pelz’s daughter Nicola Peltz Beckham and his son Will Peltz at the premiere of “Lola” in Los Angeles last month.Credit…Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

And yet Mr. Peltz yearns for something that continues to elude him: the respect from the corporate elite, which he craves and feels he deserves. Could admittance to the inner sanctum of one of the best-known and most respected companies in the world — the Walt Disney Company — deliver that?

Back to top button