ISS, a Leading Independent Proxy Advisory Firm, Supports the Election of Aligned Shareholder Representative Paul Kazarian to the Board of Directors
Saba Capital Management, L.P. (collectively with its affiliates, “Saba”), a meaningful shareholder of The New Ireland Fund (NYSE: IRL) (“IRL” or the “Fund”), today announced that leading independent proxy advisory firm Institutional Shareholder Services Inc. ("ISS”) has recommended IRL’s shareholders vote for boardroom change on the GOLD proxy card. In particular, ISS recommends the addition of Saba’s highly qualified and independent shareholder representative – Paul Kazarian – to IRL’s Board of Directors (the “Board”) at the 2022 Annual Meeting of Shareholders that is scheduled to be held on June 14, 2022.
In its full report, ISS affirmed the case for boardroom change and highlighted Mr. Kazarian’s qualifications to serve on the Board:1
- “The fund's results trail those of its peers in nearly all of the five factors most crucial to CEF investors—total shareholder return, NAV discount, distributions, expense ratio, and corporate governance—and shareholders can reasonably question whether the fund remains a logical investment vehicle for its stated purpose.”
- “Given Saba's history with bank loan CEFs, this contest represents a new asset class for its activism. Its arguments are credible and position meaningful, therefore the contest deserves careful analysis on its merits. The fund's performance regarding TSR, NAV discount, expenses, and corporate governance, has been poor, as the dissident's critique has highlighted, and with which the above analysis concurs. Change on the IRL board is preferable to the status quo.”
- “In this situation, dissident nominee Kazarian's experience as a CEF board member and CEF portfolio manager can provide a useful perspective to the fund, which must confront its viability, shrinking size, and underperformance in relation to peers. As such, support is warranted for Kazarian on the dissident's (GOLD) card.”
About Saba Capital
Saba Capital Management, L.P. is a global alternative asset management firm that seeks to deliver superior risk-adjusted returns for a diverse group of institutional clients. The firm, which is a pioneer of credit relative value and capital structure trading, currently invests across four core strategies: Credit Relative Value, Tail Hedge, SPACs and Closed-End Funds. Founded in 2009 by Boaz Weinstein, Saba is privately held by its partnership and headquartered in New York City. Learn more at www.sabacapital.com.
1 Permission to quote ISS was neither sought nor obtained.