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Proxy Leader ISS Backs Harvard Fund Proposal

The nation's largest proxy advisory firm is backing Harvard College's attempt to liquidate the Korea Equity Fund.

Institutional Shareholder Services is also reportedly recommending that investors give the green light to Harvard's proposal to fire Nomura Asset Management as investment adviser, given the fund's high management fees and stiff competition from alternative investments.

Chronic discounts are a source of frustration for many institutional investors, which often pressure fund boards to liquidate or turn the funds into traditional open-end mutual funds that sell at net-asset value, the report observes.

Harvard College, the undergraduate college of Harvard University and the Korea Equity Fund's largest shareholder with a 29% stake, has proposed ditching Nomura and liquidating the fund. A vote is scheduled for a week from today. Harvard hopes that the endorsement by a neutral observer will impact shareholders.

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