It’s important for companies and individuals alike to have diversified portfolios, which, in terms of stocks/shares, means having a variety of different investments as opposed to trying to focus on just a few. However, this same issue can lead to a problem in and of itself. The more shares you have, the more difficult it is for you to keep track of these things. By the same token, the listed company themselves has the same issues when it comes to managing important data like changes in share ownership, dividend payments, and issuing shareholding statements. This is where share registry services come into play, and anyone planning on making a serious entry into the trading world should be familiar with these companies and what they do.
One major role that share registry services provide for listed companies is making sure that their shareholder registers are properly updated. A shareholder register is a list of the active owners of any company’s given shares and includes important data like:
- The shareholder’s name
- The shareholder’s address
- The number of shares they have
This information is mandatory, but there can also be optional information added here like:
- The shareholder’s occupation
- How much they paid for their shares
Often accessible for free for shareholders and with a minor fee for non-shareholders, the main role of a shareholder registry is investor protection. By proxy, this means that utilizing skilled share registry services is essential. Because shares, as well as items like share option plans and dividend reinvestment plans, are key for employees and investors alike, and having a specialized third-party take on this duty is important. If we look back at historical issues like the Apple options backdating scandal, it’s easy to see how even the slightest error in calculating or listing can lead to larger issues down the line.
In general, from an investor point of view, a share registry service is going to be your main point of contact if you are dealing with any sort of issues regarding your shares, as opposed to the listing company itself. For example, if you have lost or stolen stock certificates, your share registry service can help you get them replaced. In addition, if there is a delay in your dividend payment, this is something that you can reach out to a share registry service for, and mutual fund shareholders will get monthly investment statements from them as well.
However, as important as share registry services are for shareholders, that doesn’t mean that they are completely flawless. For example, you may have issues with a share registry company when they ask you for information that isn’t easy to obtain. The reasoning here is that you need that added layer of security to prevent unauthorized access to the shares, but it can still be problematic. Generally, if you have an issue with the share registry service that the company you invested in is using, you can either reach the customer service department of the service itself or talk to your broker or the listed company if that isn’t satisfactory.
Share registry services, whatever your purpose is for them, play a vital role in helping traders and companies manage shares and have a full understanding on where they stand. However, it’s important to have other tools and partners that help you in other aspects of this greater umbrella. This is where companies like PrimaryMarkets come in, serving as a global independent marketplace that lets wholesale sophisticated investors take part in secondary trading of securities and investments. In addition, we also help unlisted companies and trusts raise new capital.