A transfer agent is a bank or trust company that has been designated by a corporation to maintain its investor records. A transfer agent engages in the following activities:
- Records transactions
- Cancels stock certificates
- Issues stock certificates
- Handles investor mailings
- Handles lost/stolen stock certificate claims
Physical stock certificates are not always issued by a transfer agent. Instead, the agent may make a book-entry transaction to electronically record a share-related activity.