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NEW YORK (

The Street

) -- Nelson Peltz may be best known for his takeover of

Wendy's

(WEN) - Get Wendy's Company Report

last year, but now he's betting people will want to save their money in bond funds rather than spend it at a fast food restaurant.

Peltz has been buying up

Legg Mason

(LM) - Get Legg Mason, Inc. Report

shares since the early summer and is especially interested in Legg Mason's fixed-income business, Western Asset Management, according to

The Wall Street Journal

, which broke the news of Peltz's investment in Legg Mason on its front page Monday.

Peltz's bet on Wendy's looks unspectacular so far. The shares are up nearly 40% during the past 12 months, better than

Yum! Brands

(YUM) - Get Yum! Brands, Inc. Report

and

TheStreet Recommends

McDonald's Corp.

(MCD) - Get McDonald's Corporation Report

, while underperforming shares of

Darden Restaurants

(DRI) - Get Darden Restaurants, Inc. Report

. Still, Peltz gets a poor grade for timing, since he completed his takeover of the restaurant chain on the same day

Lehman Brothers

filed for bankruptcy, and Wendy's shares are down more than 10% since then.

What both Legg Mason and Wendy's have in common is their third-class status. Just as Wendy's is the No. 3 hamburger chain, Legg Mason's bond business operates in the shadow of giants like PIMCO and

BlackRock

(BLK) - Get BlackRock, Inc. Report

.

Trying to pick up market share in the money management industry probably makes more sense these days than betting on a hamburger chain, however. Notwithstanding the rebound this year, nearly everyone has gotten clobbered in the market and is looking around uneasily about what to do with their money.

This jockeying for position should continue to drive deals like

Morgan Stanley's

(MS) - Get Morgan Stanley Report

sale of a majority stake in its Van Kampen funds business to

Invesco

, and

Barclays'

(BCS) - Get Barclays Plc Report

sale of its fund unit to BlackRock.

Maybe Peltz, who is about to get a seat on Legg Mason's board, according to the

Journal

, is hoping to position it for a sale. There are also opportunities to grow Legg Mason, however, so Peltz's bet looks shrewd either way.

-- Written by Dan Freed in New York

.