First Financial Fund, the closed-end fund administered by Prudential Investments of Newark, N.J. and advised by Wellington Management of Boston, is apparently shoring up its defenses to ward off advances by Stewart Horejsi, a shareholder activist. Horejsi has been purchasing fund shares with an eye toward possibly taking a more active role in the management of the fund. (See related story page 8)

In a preliminary proxy statement filed Feb. 18, Prudential asked First Financial shareholders to approve a change in the fund's articles of incorporation. The change would require at least 2/3's of shareholders to vote in favor of a change in the fund's investment objective, investment allocations or to merge with a large shareholder. The fund currently requires a simple majority vote to pass such proposals. Prudential officials were not available for comment.

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