A transfer agent is assigned by a corporation with publicly traded securities to track individuals that own their stocks and bonds. Transfer agents have several responsibilities, including executing shareholder transactions and maintaining shareholder records.
Audit Analytics tracked 10,107 transfer agent engagements within the past year. Here, we look at the market share among transfer agents in 2022.
Full Population Market Share
One event significantly impacted the transfer agent market. In December 2021, Siris Capital Group completed the acquisition/combination of Equiniti and American Stock Transfer. As previously separate firms, these two transfer agents were each in the top 5 by market share annually.
The total market share for transfer agents among active SEC registrants remains mostly unchanged relative to 2021, besides the EQ/AST combination. The top 5 transfer agents for the total population market share include: Computershare, Equiniti Trust Co/American Stock Transfer & Trust, Continental Stock Transfer & Trust, BNY Mellon, and Broadridge.
Computershare maintains its lead with 25.7% market share in 2022 compared to 27.2% in 2021. Equiniti Trust Co/American Stock Transfer & Trust holds a 20.4% market share in 2022. Computershare and EQ/AST hold nearly half of the clients in the Audit Analytics database. Finally, Continental Stock Transfer & Trust hold a market share of 12.7% compared to 11.9% in 2021.
S&P 500 Market Share
The S&P 500 index tracks 500 large companies by market capitalization listed on the NYSE or Nasdaq exchanges. Three transfer agents dominate this subset: Computershare, Equiniti Trust Co/American Stock Transfer & Trust, and Broadridge Corporate Issuer Solutions.
Computershare is the transfer agent for more than half of the S&P 500 subset with a market share of 56.5% in 2022 (56.3% in 2021). Equiniti Trust Co/American Stock Transfer & Trust holds a market share of 35% in 2022, while Broadridge Corporate Issuer Solutions holds a market share of 7.0%, similar to its market share in 2021.
IPO Market Share
Last year’s upward trend of IPOs cooled off in 2022. The number of IPOs during each of the first three quarters of 2022, in part due to a stagnation with SPACs. As noted in our recent blog, SPACs are struggling to find appropriate private companies to take public because of market oversaturation. There were 241 IPOs between December 1, 2021 and November 1, 2022, including 136 SPACs. In contrast, there were 956 IPOs within the same timeframe one year prior.
Continental Stock Transfer & Trust holds a market share of 51.9% of IPO market share in 2022 compared to 55.8% in 2021. Vstock Transfer, LLC made a huge leap in the IPO market: 13.7% in 2022 vs. 3.8% in 2021. Vstock Transfer held 3 less IPO clients in 2022 than the previous year, but their market share tripled because of the decrease in total IPOs. Equiniti Trust Co/American Stock Transfer & Trust and Computershare rank third and fourth, respectively, in the IPO market share. Continental Stock Transfer & Trust continues to dominate the SPAC market, with a market share of 85.29% in 2022 (86.8%) in 2021.
Overall, we see that Computershare continues to lead the market for larger companies, maintaining a proportionate total market share and S&P 500 market share relative to 2021. However, the combination of American Stock Transfer and Equiniti Trust Co has shortened the gap considerably. Continental Stock Transfer continues to dominate the IPO and SPAC market. Other notable transfer agents include: DST Asset Management Solutions, US Bancorp Fund Services, DST Systems Inc, Citibank, Action Stock Transfer, and State Street Bank & Trust.
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