Investing - Working
with Transfer Agents Before you Send out RFP Request For Proposals
A transfer agent is the lifeline between your company and its investors,
but what happens when you are not happy with the services being provided
by your transfer agent or you run into unexpected problems?
Rather than sending out RFPs (Request For Proposals) and seeking out
another transfer agent, it is a much better idea to try and work things
out with your current agent. This is the preferable route to take for
most businesses, as it is much easier than the alternatives and should
be chosen if at all possible. Seeking out another transfer agent and
trying to make the switch might not be worth your while if you can
remedy the situation with your current transfer agent.
To fix the situation, you will need to open discussions with your
transfer agent. Before beginning the process, make a list of items that
you would like your transfer agent to improve upon and specify what
level of service you expect them to provide. Place these points in order
of importance - what improvements are most important to you, your
company and top management?
Schedule a meeting with the account manager (and his or her manager if
applicable) to discuss in a clear and coherent manner what you expect of
a transfer agent. Make sure he/she fully understands the implications of
your expectations and can promise to firmly adhere to them.
Inform the transfer agent of your intention to tour their shop as a
prospective client would. This ensures that you are serious about
working well with the transfer agent and want to be treated as an
important customer. Also, be sure to get all your expectations,
agreements and the promises of the transfer agent in writing as soon as
possible. You canít leave any room for future misunderstandings.
After the tour decide whether or not the account manager or any of the
staff you observed are adequately qualified or equipped with the
resources to carry out your specific expectations. All too often an
account manager is the root cause of the problem, due to lack of
experience, skill or training. Hiring a new account manager may be the
solution you were looking for.
At this point in the game, if you are satisfied with the progress youíve
made with the issue and feel that the transfer agent both understands
your needs and can deliver on its new promises, there is no need to set
a tight deadline for full compliance. On the other hand, if youíve
reached the point at which you donít yet feel confident that the
transfer agent will change its ways without further prodding, it might
be a good idea to consider making a change.
Before sending out the usual RFP, however, make sure ahead of time that
your potential new transfer agent truly understands what youíre looking
for - in plain English.
Most importantly, when researching a new transfer agent, pay little heed
to the often erroneous claims many agents make as to their abilities and
successes. Stay focused on the needs specific to your company and stick
to these expectations, making sure the transfer agent possesses the
requisite resources and track record in the areas that are important to
you. The transfer agent should outline these points in its RFP response
and on the tour, but you should also look for feedback from other
clients who are similar in size, complexity and goals to your company.
This article was sponsored by
http://www.firstamericanstock.com and written by Katerina Mitrou.
First American Stock Transfer, Inc. is registered with the Securities &
Exchange Commission as a Registrar and Transfer Agent. Reproductions of
this article are encouraged but must include a link back to
Books on Investing
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