A trust firm, bank, or other similar institution is designated by a corporation as the transfer agent to keep track of each investor’s account balance and to manage the investor’s financial records. The transfer agent keeps track of transactions, revokes and issues certificates, processes investor mailings, and takes care of a variety of other investor difficulties, such as reissuing certificates that have been misplaced or stolen.
To make sure investors get their dividend and interest payments on time, transfer agents and registrars collaborate closely. The monthly sending of investment statements to mutual fund shareholders is also managed by transfer agents. Shareholders of common and preferred stock are entitled to vote on significant corporate decisions, such as corporate mergers and company sales. Transfer agents, who provide proxy information to shareholders, facilitate these votes.
Transfer agents also provide annual reports to shareholders, which include the audited financial accounts of the companies. Additionally, at year’s end, transfer agents and registrars work together to provide investors with federal tax information, including details on dividends and interest paid as well as information on security transfers made throughout the year.