Post Creator: Rosie Bartley

Sowing Seeds of Growth: Cultivating Success Through Strategic Activist Investing with Ed Garden, Founder of Garden Investments

By ICR | Podcast

Today we’re celebrating a big milestone for the show: It’s our 100th episode of Welcome to the Arena and we’re marking that huge achievement with a 2-part interview with a major player in the investment world. Our guest today has had an incredible career and our conversation was packed with inspiring stories and insightful advice.

We’re sitting down for part one of our interview with  Ed Garden, Chairman and CEO of Garden Investments. 

Prior to starting Garden Investments, Ed founded Trian Fund Management in 2005 with Nelson Peltz and Peter May. He was Chief Investment Officer at Trian until May of 2023, and presently serves as a senior advisor.

As Chief Investment Officer, Ed oversaw Trian’s portfolio management, idea generation, and due diligence activities. He has extensive experience engaging with public company management teams and boards and currently serves on the board of General Electric. He previously served on the boards of Bank of New York Mellon, Family Dollar Stores, Invesco Janice Henderson Group, Pentair, The Wendy’s Company and Triarc Companies earlier in his career. Ed worked at Credit Suisse First Boston as an investment banker and BT Alex Brown, where he was co-head of Equity Capital Markets. Ed has a BA in Economics from Harvard. 

In part one, we’ll dive into how Ed broke into the investment world, and hear Trian’s origin story. Next week, we get deeper into  some of Ed’s Board experiences, and his new venture with Garden Investments.


  • Ed’s upbringing and the role of academia and education (2:57)
  • Getting into the job market, and Ed’s first position in investment banking (6:12)
  • How Ed’s work in banking influenced his path to starting an  activist firm (10:26)
  • Early challenges Ed and his team faced when founding Trian (12:30)
  • The investment approach and strategy taken at Trian (16:21)
  • What made Trian’s investment approach unique (17:40)
  • The relationship between capital allocation and capital governance in investing (23:02)
  • What CEO’s don’t understand about their company’s value in the stock market  (24:53)
  • How Ed deconstructed conglomerate companies (25:52)
  • What makes investment partnerships difficult in activist investing (29:30)



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