Tips on Stock Transfer RFPs

The RFP process can be a minefield for the uninitiated, so to be helpful  we put together the following list…


  • Use a professional guide or facilitator if at all possible, to save confusion, time…and money.
  • Look at all stock transfer agents who could manage your account, because those you might not have considered five years ago have significantly stepped up their games and, in the process, won many prominent accounts.
  • Force specificity and convention in how fees are quoted, and disqualify those who do not conform.
  • Ask about shareholder-paid fees as well as those paid by the company.
  • Be sure to detail what your key requirements are – and yes, your “idiosyncrasies.”
  • Limit proposals to those which can be delivered electronically; i.e., manage their length.
  • Ask questions that require true distinction from the competition.
  • Discount phrases like “we are the best,” “we are the leader,” “we are the only.”
  • Visit the facilities of candidate finalists, even if your time is precious.
  • Check what leaving your current agent would cost – in advance – in case you do make a change.
  • Check if you, like most companies, require board approval to change agents.


  • Ask whether an agent adheres to SEC or other regulatory requirements, like stock transfer turn-around times – because they must, and such questions greatly and unnecessarily clutter the proposal and, by extension, the evaluation process.
  • Allow endless marketing drivel in proposals.
  • Dwell too much on quoted expenses (versus fees) but rather study them for anomalies like mark-ups and general “allocation” expenses.
  • Let the bidder get away with “TBD” or answers/figures otherwise sketchy based on an alleged lack of data.  Good agents know (+/- 10%) what your company’s profile will generate for them in fees and expenses annually, and if they are worth their salt they will disclose this to you in their bid.
  • Be shy about asking bidders, up front, what it would cost to terminate the relationship after it is established.
  • Settle on just hand-picked references that an agent provides, because other companies using that agent can be readily identified, and queried.
  • Guess you completely understand the agent’s fee bid, but rather press on until you know.
  • Accept a proposal with “strings attached,” like a long-term contract, because that is unnecessary in this very competitive marketplace.

Done scientifically a stock transfer RFP need not be a  burden, it will be highly informative, and it can even be fun.   For more information e-mail us at .