New “PEP” in Canada’s Step!

Following up on our  summer 2010 article, CIBC Mellon did indeed sell its stock transfer business –  to Pacific Equity Partners (“PEP”) of Australia.   We predicted this possibility, for a number  of logical reasons.

First,  there was precedent, with Computershare of Australia entering Canada in 2000  through its acquisition of Montreal Trust, and immediately becoming one of two  dominant service providers in that country.    Now, PEP has done the same thing with the other dominant provider, and  before our eyes 85% of Canada’s stock transfer business has become managed by  Australian firms!

Second,  the new PEP presence in Canada will be called Canadian Stock Transfer, and  nicely complement existing American Stock Transfer in the U.S. within the new  North American Division of PEP, run by AST’s Mark Healy.   Undoubted client cross-sell and “scale” benefits will flow from this peppy new twin-engine vehicle.

Third,  PEP is in an expansionary mode like no other shareholder service provider, or investor,  in the world.   Just in the U.S. – in just  the past year – it has hired senior and not-so-senior staffers from both the  transfer agent community (Bob Carney, Barbara Robbins, Ed Timmons) as well as  the proxy solicitation world (Tom Kies, David Weeks, Matt Alden).   Indeed, it acquired an entire new proxy solicitation  firm, Phoenix Advisory Group, started this year by veteran John Siemann and populated  by numerous other well-known players like Tom Cronin, David Bobker, Ron  Schneider and Pete Tomaszewski.   So,  PEP’s service breadth in North America now covers the spectrum of stock  transfer, non-employee investment plans (DRIPs and DSPPs), employee investment  plans (ESPPs and options), proxy solicitation and associated corporate  governance consulting.

As a result of these many acquisitions and rapid  growth – including outside North America – PEP recently adopted The Link Group  as its global, umbrella brand.   The name  and its connotation certainly fit, and we are sure we will hear much more from  this dynamic industry participant in the years to come.