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Helping public companies and their suppliers deliver better and more cost-effective programs since 1994

Stock transfer agents & agency services

Transfer agents take a lot of heat – from shareholders – and from their clients too (though, after all, that’s what you really pay them to do) – and sometimes from the Optimizer as well. But if you stop to think about it, you’ll realize that they probably wield more tools on your behalf than any other supplier you have.

This business, as most readers also know, has been undergoing a massive consolidation for over ten years now – driven mainly by dramatically falling unit volumes as shareholders continue to migrate to ‘street-name.’ The result; a do-or-die competitive environment.

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Over just a few years we saw Mellon Bank merge with Bank of New York – to pass up former number-one transfer agent Computershare’s once commanding market share by a country mile. And then, rather amazingly, Computershare bought out the BNY-Mellon business to take a basically insurmountable lead…And then – as so often happens with rapidly consolidating businesses – came a new entrant, Broadridge Financial Solutions, which promised to follow a ‘disruptive’ business model. And then, just last year, we saw one of the two largest agents in the mid-sized-agent category, Registrar and Transfer Company, also sell its business to Computershare. And then…one of the largest of the ‘smaller agents’ – Illinois Stock Transfer, was shut down by the SEC…And then, just a few months ago, another of the biggest ‘small agents’ – albeit a tiny one – was snapped up by AST.

But now, suddenly, the competitive turmoil – which so often created “dislocations” for clients, to put it politely, and where the now number-two agent, Wells Fargo Shareowner Services had been ‘making hay’ as the saying goes – seems to have simmered down: All of the larger players still standing have found their feet, and are doing an “”OK job.” So not only are the clients basically pretty happy – very few of them have a good reason to shop around and run the risk of leaving a stable environment for what is still the “unknown”…since one thing is for sure, we say: “The dealin’s are far from done in this industry.”

Currently, the reorg departments at the larger agents are sort of feasting on the hot and heavy M&A market – and picking up a few newly spun-off companies too. But once those dealin’s are done, the number of registered shareholders, net of the few modest additions from spin-offs, will bite the bottom lines of the big TAs pretty hard.

So for now, are advice is to sit tight, and to try to develop a warm and loving relationship with your TA, while keeping a close eye on the newspapers and the industry newsletters for more consolidation to come.

But if you are one of  the ‘disaffected’ companies, or feel ‘dislocated’ after the competitive reshufflings, here are two articles that will help you; one on “What to do if you are not satisfied with your T-A” and another on "selecting a transfer agent.'

AST

AST and its affiliates are leading providers of registry services and technology to financial market participants around the globe. AST and its CST Trust Company provide comprehensive stock transfer and employee plan services to more than 8,000 public issues and over 5.5 million shareholders. Together AST and CST serve clients located throughout North America. The organization provides fully integrated services that include corporate proxy solicitation and advisory services, employee plan services, information agent, mutual fund proxy solicitation and advisory solutions, shareholder identification, asset recovery and investment management offerings.

(267) 515-5400 • www.ASTepsdiv.com

Broadridge

It’s time to take a fresh look at your Transfer Agency program and make sure you’re getting the most out of it. You want a partner that can handle all your shareholder communication needs. One that taps into opportunities to create efficiencies and increase engagement with your shareholders. One that offers you a more simplified approach, more flexibility based on your needs, and more insight into your shareholder base. That partner is Broadridge.

Get the most out of a Transfer Agent relationship with Broadridge:

  • A single source solution tailored to your needs from the only Transfer Agent that can support both beneficial and registered shareholders.
  • Superior shareholder and client service with a dedicated Relationship Management Team, Broadridge-staffed and US-based Call Center, and a secure, easy-to-use portal that offers unique features such as client alerts.
  • A customizable Shareholder Portal that offers everything your shareholders need to access and manage their accounts - personalized with your branding to differentiate your company and enhance loyalty.
  • A secure, proven onboarding process that provides a smooth transition and creates opportunities for long-term improvement.
  • Timely data and analysis that reveal insights and opportunities to gain efficiencies, reduce your costs and tailor your communication strategies.
  • Fully transparent contracts with no hidden clauses and no costly penalties. Just a clear, easy-to understand contract.
  • 50 years’ experience helping companies realize efficiencies and plan for the future.

www.broadridge.com/corporateissuer

Computershare

Computershare is the world’s foremost provider of shareholder services to public companies. Our team offers global expertise, responsive client service and innovative technology, as well as a comprehensive suite of products and services designed to help our issuer clients achieve their corporate objectives. Trusted by more than 6,000 U.S. companies representing 19 million shareholder accounts, our proven solutions put our clients’ and their stakeholders’ needs first.

cis.computershare.com

Wells Fargo

A trusted provider for more than 80 years, Wells Fargo Shareowner Services knows how to expertly serve your company and its shareowners. Our clients have rated Wells Fargo as the industry’s best for 16 of the past 17 years. Combine that with our innovative technology, robust controls, and the industry’s most recognizable name, and you have the solution your shareowners need. Whether you’re switching transfer agents, executing a complex corporate action, or taking your company public, start a conversation with Wells Fargo Shareowner Services today.

1110 Centre Pointe Curve, Suite 101
Mendota Heights, MN 55120
www.wellsfargo.com/shareownerservices
800-767-3330