Silberstein knows a thing or two about fat cats. He amassed a fortune as the co-founder of Innovative Interfaces Inc., a developer of library software for services including cataloging and circulation. Now he’s deploying a trust he owns in an attempt to prod BlackRock Inc. to vote no on big executive pay packages. He’s among a growing number of investors and nonprofit groups pressuring fund managers to keep a closer eye on how companies pay top executives and influence politics. The retired entrepreneur’s trust holds stakes in companies through funds managed by BlackRock, which votes his shares. The $4.7 trillion asset manager doesn’t vote the way Silberstein would, he says, so he’s seizing this populist moment to change that. His proposal, up for vote at BlackRock’s May 25 annual meeting, asks the fund manager to reconsider how it evaluates and votes on executive-pay plans. SumOfUs, a New York-based nonprofit that advocates on behalf of consumers, has collected 74,500 signatures in support of Silberstein’s resolution.
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