2019 was a great year for Computershare

As the largest U.S. stock transfer agent by far in terms of corporations and shareholders served – indeed, it is the largest globally as well – Computershare has spent several years fully assimilating its acquisitions of the BNY Mellon and Registrar & Transfer Co. businesses, and attending somewhat quietly to its impressive core competencies.  As the super-tanker in its ocean it has also had to fend off piratical efforts by several competitors, generally with good success although it lost some “name” clients in recent years to predators like Wells Fargo (now EQ Shareowner Services) and Broadridge.  In 2019, it was pay-back time.

In the second quarter Computershare was awarded the stock transfer business of Microsoft, which, with almost 100,000 registered shareholders, paying a dividend and offering a direct stock purchase plan is one of the largest and most prestigious corporate names in America, and the world.  It was also the most prominent account of AST Financial, formerly American Stock Transfer & Trust Company.  This win, in and of itself, would have made 2019 noteworthy for Computershare.  But it did not stop there.

In the third quarter Computershare won the stock transfer business of The Walt Disney Company, which dwarfs Microsoft at 850,000 registered holders and involves dividend payment and administration of a direct stock purchase plan as well.  Disney was the last mega-shareholder base company to leave an in-house stock transfer agency arrangement, in 2013, choosing at that time to go with Broadridge.  Needless to say, with the Disney win on top of Microsoft, adding almost a million registered shareholders and teeing up numerous future revenue-generating opportunities like M&A transaction handling, Computershare had a banner year in 2019.

And Computershare’s investments in technology have arguably placed it ahead of the pack as well, for now anyway.  We know its company and shareholder online access portals are among the most robust and user-friendly in the industry.  It is even allowing “text” communications with shareholders, soon in both directions, on queries not requiring online or call center authentication.  Regarding cyber-security protection, Computershare seems to be on the leading edge here also, as it must be to avoid existential threats to its various businesses.  These businesses include, by the way, Georgeson – a leading proxy solicitor, governance advisor and abandoned property services facilitator, with an international footprint.

So, Computershare had a stellar year – plain and simple – and it was proper that we acknowledge it here.