American Stock Transfer affiliate acquires venerable southwestern agent First American Stock Transfer

This deal, announced on 6-10-15, continues the overall pattern of consolidation in U.S. stock transfer.  It troubles us to see the number of industry players shrink further, but as transactions go this one made a lot of sense – for a number of reasons.

We list them here:

  • As acquirers go American Stock Transfer is a talented, forward-thinking agent with an ever-widening footprint in shareholder services – and with an impressive and long-running track record of service quality
  • American Stock Transfer will apparently use First American as a vehicle to better serve small and microcap companies (largely ignored of late) including endeavor to solve eligibility for DTCC and “FAST” electronic processing challenges – which will enhance safety among all market trading platforms
  • First American, which will not even change its name, has thus provided its clients with an expeditious and top-notch upgrade to its past services package
  • Salli Marinov, First American’s long-time President and CEO, can leverage American Stock Transfer to expand her advocacy for smaller businesses on a larger stage
  • First American will essentially become the Southwestern (Phoenix) office of American Stock Transfer, which has already branched effectively into other markets like San Francisco, Seattle, Dallas and Chicago
  • First American is not so large that its acquisition will disrupt the “balance” of service providers in the industry, like the acquisitions of Equiserve and BNY Mellon arguably did

So we are sorry to see First American go away as a separate player, but are glad to see it fit so well, evidently, within its new home.  And the deal will, again, keep Marinov well connected to industry awhile longer.  The reader should note that not only has she been a long-time member of the Board of Directors of the Securities Transfer Association, but she also wrote a seminal book on stock transfer in 2010 entitled A Practical Guide for the Transfer of U.S. Equity Securities – a book every corporate secretary, investor relations practitioner and stock plan administrator should consider owning.