A transfer agent is a third party financial institution that is appointed by a corporation, mutual fund or company to act as the master securityholder recordkeeping agent and maintain the stockholder ledger and process any changes to it.
In addition to maintaining the master shareholder list, a transfer agent’s primary tasks include recording ownership transfers (also known as “stock transfers”), the issuance and cancellation of stock/security certificates, stock splits for the organization, general cap table management, and other shareholder account maintenance items.
Transfer agents may also perform the following functions:
Dividend and shareholder payouts
Lost stock certificate replacements
Searching for lost shareholders
Proxy voting and tabulation of annual meetings
A transfer agent may not perform any of the following actions:
Selling and purchasing of securities in the stock market
Providing broker dealer solicitation and price quotes of securities
Providing advice about which securities to buy
Investment banking duties
Find the Transfer Agent for your Stock
In many cases, you can find the transfer agent for a certain company or stock by searching the company on OTCmarkets.com and selecting the Company Info tab for that company. You may also want to visit the company’s investor relations’ website, call the company directly, or ask your broker. You can also search the company’s previous SEC filings at SEC EDGAR Company Search.