Is he a corporate raider simply out to make a fast buck? Or is he an activist investor dedicated to unlocking shareholder value from under-performing companies?
Your opinion of Nelson Peltz, the 64-year-old US billionaire whose arrival on the Cadbury Schweppes share register is widely believed to have been the catalyst for the planned break-up of the confectionery and soft drinks group, probably depends on what view you take of 21st century global capitalism.
The markets love him; unions and workforces hate him, especially in Birmingham where he is blamed for instigating the shake-up of food group HJ Heinz that resulted in the closure of the 103-year-old HP Sauce plant at Aston Cross with the loss of more than 100 jobs.
Mr Peltz has built up a fortune estimated at some $1.3 billion since dropping out of Wharton Business School in the 1960s to work for his family's restaurant supplies business. High-living, Brooklyn-born Mr Peltz subsequently embarked on a buccaneering career focused on highly leveraged business buy-outs financed by the disgraced junk bond king Michael Milken of collapsed investment bank Drexel Burnham Lambert.
He bought companies the way most men buy shirts, wrung the value from them and sold them on at a big profit.
One of his biggest coups was buying drinks firm Snapple from Quaker Oats for #155 million in 1997 and selling it three years later to Cadbury Schweppes for #776 million.
Mr Peltz incurred the wrath of London's stock market regulators in 1991 following the collapse of Mountleigh, a property company, which, after directors sold off millions of pounds of stock and following a failed rights issue, was saddled with #500 million of debt, leaving its underwriters holding 88 per cent of the shares.