What is a stock transfer agent?
A stock transfer agent manages and maintains the records of a company’s shares. The agent is responsible for transferring the ownership of shares from the seller’s name to the buyer’s name. The transfer agent also determines the stockholders of record, ensures all stocks are properly accounted for and that dividend payments are made to stockholders of record. The transfer agent does not maintain records of shares bought and sold through brokerage accounts. (Such stock is said to be held in “street name.”) Those records are maintained by the brokerage firms through which the shares are bought and sold.