A stock transfer agent is employed by publicly held companies to issue and cancel stock certificates, act as an agent to pay dividends, and assist shareholders with lost or stolen stock certificates. Sample activities are as follows:
- A client company declares a stock split, so the stock transfer agent issues the additional shares to shareholders.
- The agent keeps track of who owns the shares and bonds of its clients.
- The agent issues proxy materials to shareholders on behalf of its clients.
- The agent mails out annual reports on behalf of its clients.
- The agent puts a stop transfer notice on stock certificates that have been reported as lost, destroyed, or stolen.
The typical stock transfer agent is a bank or trust company.