On December 22, 2015, the US Securities and Exchange Commission issued: (i) an advanced notice of proposed rulemaking, seeking public comment for new requirements for transfer agents; and (ii) a concept release on the SEC’s broader review of transfer agent regulation. Among other requirements, the ANPR proposes to impose on transfer agents revised registration and annual reporting requirements, and revised requirements relating to the safeguarding of funds and securities, antifraud requirements in connection with the issuance and transfer of restricted securities, and to impose new guidelines relating to cybersecurity and information technology. The SEC concept release addresses a broader range of other issues and it is possible that the various proposals will be acted on separately by the SEC. Issues addressed in the concept release include the processing of book entry securities, recordkeeping issues, administration of issuer plans, outsourcing, the role of transfer agents to mutual funds, and crowdfunding. Comments on both the ANPR and the concept release must be submitted within 60 days of publication in the Federal Register.

The text of the SEC ANPR and concept release is available at: http://www.sec.gov/rules/concept/2015/34-76743.pdf.