What is a Stock Transfer Agent?

A stock transfer agent is a financial institution that is in charge of keeping track of the stock transfer information for a company. Every publicly traded company has to keep track of all of the investors that own stock in the company. They are required to keep a shareholder registry and keep track of the number of shares that each person has. The stock transfer agent is the one that issues certificates, and cancels them as well. 

The stock transfer agent is also in charge of mailing important information to the investors in the company. If investors have any questions about their stock, they are directed to the stock transfer agent. Some companies will have a department that handles all of the stock transfer agent responsibilities. Others, prefer to outsource the responsibility to a private company. They will often hire a bank, or a trust company, to handle these responsibilities for them. The stock transfer agent will charge the company a nominal fee for these services. The stock transfer agent plays a vital role for the company, and for the investors of the company.