What is Computershare? | Definitions for investing | Pearler (2024)

The first time you heard of Computershare, what came to mind? Maybe you thought of a secret club where people swapped computers like a clothes swap. Or, maybe this is the first time you've ever come across the term and you're currently scratching your head in confusion.

Stepping into the world of investing feels exciting, but terms like 'Computershare' can make it seem like there's a door you haven't unlocked. Nobody wants to feel left out, especially if knowing what 'Computershare' is plays a key role in your investing journey. Does it, though? Keep reading and you'll find out.

This article will serve as your personal pass. We're unlocking what Computershare is, including its day-to-day role in your investing, and the extra services it offers. Let's swing that door wide open!

NOTE: Pearler doesn't receive any kickbacks for talking about Computershare. We're simply highlighting what they do so you can understand the role they play in your investing.

What is Computershare?

First thing's first: what is Computershare, and what does it do?

Computershare is a global company that plays an important role when it comes to share investing. They are responsible for share registration, which means they keep track of who owns which shares in a company. They also handle stuff related to the stock market and other financial services.

Now, owning shares might sound simple, but there's a lot going on behind the scenes. Computershare makes the process of owning and managing shares easier for both the companies that issue them and the people who buy them. Instead of having tons of paperwork and details to manage, Computershare helps streamline everything.

Computershare originally started in Australia and is now supporting companies and investors all over the world.

That's why, as an investor, it's important to know something about Computershare. Though it may not be obvious, Computershare is working in the background to make sure the details surrounding your share ownership are in the right place.

How is Computershare involved in everyday investment transactions?

When you dive into investing, there are many moving parts. Computershare is a key player in this world, especially when it comes to managing and organising shares. Think of Computershare as the invisible hand behind the curtain of share ownership and transactions.

Now, let's explore how it is involved in everyday investment transactions.

What is share ownership?

Let's first talk about a fundamental in the world of investing: share ownership .

When you buy a share, it means you own a piece of a company or fund. It's your slice of the pie. Now, keeping track of who owns what and all the details related to it is a huge task, especially when there are thousands of investors. That's where Computershare steps in. They act as record-keepers, making sure all details about your shares are organised.

When shares move from one person to another, that's called a transfer. And if the company you have shares in makes some money and wants to give you a part of it? That's a dividend. Sometimes, you receive this money in the form of dividend cheques. Computershare helps manage these moving pieces.

Now, maybe you've also come across the term CHESS-sponsored shares . CHESS stands for Clearing House Electronic Subregister System. Sounds complicated, no? But let's keep it simple. It's a system in Australia that helps track the ownership of shares. When you buy shares through a broker, they're often registered in CHESS. This means they're electronically recorded, making everything efficient. No need for physical stock certificates; everything is handled online.

With CHESS-sponsored shares, you get a unique Holder Identification Number (HIN). This number is like a special ID for your shares. Computershare ensures you can access your share details whenever you want to obtain information.

How does Computershare fit in the share ownership process?

As we touched on earlier, Computershare plays a role in the share ownership process. Here's how: there needs to be a system in place to record who owns which share, right? Computershare acts like a super organised librarian, keeping records of everyone's shares.

Imagine you decide to buy shares, either directly or through a broker. Once the purchase is made, details like who bought it, when they bought it, how much they paid, and other specifics need to be recorded. Computershare documents these details to make sure everything is in order.

Generally, instead of a physical piece of paper to show you own the share (physical share certificate), it's all done electronically. It's quicker, with fewer turnaround delays, and reduces risk. Computershare manages this digital record-keeping, ensuring things run smoothly.

They also handle other tasks. For instance, when a company wants to reward its shareholders with a little extra cash (dividend), Computershare helps distribute the dividends.

Computershare is like the backstage crew in a theatre production. While the shares (and companies) get the spotlight, Computershare makes sure everything runs without a hitch.

How can investors or shareholders interact with Computershare?

Now, we've built the foundations of your knowledge on Computershare. But what does it look like to interact with Computershare as an investor?

  1. Creating an account in the Investor Centre. Think of the Computershare's Investor Centre as your personal dashboard. Once you create an account, it's like having a command centre for your shares. You can peek at your shares, even sell shares if they're sponsored by the issuer, check out company details, and grab printable forms. It's a one-stop shop for all things related to your investment.
  2. Preparing your tax return. We all know tax time can be, well, taxing. But with Computershare, you can gather all the data you need about your shares to fill out your tax forms . They make the process smoother by organising the information in a user-friendly way.
  3. Selling shares. If you decide it's time to sell some shares, Computershare has got your back. With a few clicks in your Investor Centre, you can initiate the selling process. They'll handle the behind-the-scenes work to process the sale for you.
  4. International payments service. Got shares in companies outside Australia? No worries. Computershare's international payments service ensures you receive any money owed to you from these companies, converting it to your local currency.
  5. Fraud prevention tips. In this digital age, safety is key. Computershare offers guidance on how to keep your investments and personal information secure from pesky fraudsters. It's always good to stay one step ahead of them!

And here's another way Computershare gets involved with share ownership. Many companies offer what’s called an employee share plan. This plan allows employees to buy or acquire shares of their own company, sometimes at discounted prices. Computershare keeps track of the shares you get through this plan, making sure everything’s in order.

Computershare is like a helpful assistant for investors. They offer a bunch of services, from setting up an account to watch over your shares, to helping you manage international payments. As you continue your investing journey, remember that tools like Computershare are here to make things simpler for you.

What is Computershare's role as a share registry company?

As mentioned before, at its core, Computershare is what we call a share registry company. Think of it as a record keeper. Whenever someone buys, sells, or owns a share in a company, there needs to be an official record of it.

We discussed earlier how Computershare keeps track of the details of share ownership. This is crucial because shares represent a piece of a company, and companies need to know who their shareholders are. We also know Computershare ensures dividends are paid out correctly.

But what more does Computershare do as a share registry company?

  1. Help with buying and selling. If you decide to sell your shares or buy more , Computershare handles the process. They manage the transfer of ownership and make sure everything's in order.
  2. Administer reinvestment plans. They have something called a Computershare investment plan which can help you invest in shares directly, without needing a broker. Maybe you want to use your dividends to buy more shares. Computershare helps set this up with reinvestment plans. It's a way to grow your investments without lifting a finger.
  3. Protect your investment. Investing always has some risks, but Computershare has systems in place to reduce risk and guide you in keeping your investments safe. Computershare's systems are designed to reduce risk, including turnaround delays. They ensure the details of every share you own are correct, and the records are up-to-date. You get updates on your shares pretty fast, so you always know what's going on. This minimises errors, so your investments are safer.
  4. Keep you informed. Through their Computershare investor services, you can access your share details anytime you want.
  5. Special services for employees. If you work for a company with an employee share plan, Computershare helps manage the relevant administration. If you decide to accept your employer's offer and own shares, Computershare creates a plan tailored to your employer's specific rules. And if there are any changes or updates, they provide efficient access to this information. You won't be left in the dark.
  6. Work with stock exchanges . As we've said, Computershare handles the transfer that happens when you sell your shares or buy new ones on the stock exchange . And with all the buying and selling, share prices change a lot! The average price of a share can go up or down throughout any given day. Computershare's systems stay updated with the latest from the stock exchanges.

Computershare helps keep the world of investing organised, handling the nitty-gritty details so you can focus on your investing journey.

What else does Computershare do?

Besides the basic services Computershare provides, they've got a bunch of other services on offer. These services are mainly targeted at businesses (rather than individual investors), so we'll keep it brief:

  • Global markets. Computershare supports businesses that do business in global markets, taking on the global registrar and transfer agent role. This means they help manage corporate transactions across borders and continually monitor changing regulations and market conditions.
  • Communication services. They use their market knowledge to help companies design and deliver better communication.
  • Corporate governance. They provide a board portal to help board directors manage their time and responsibilities.
  • Employee equity plans. For companies wanting to give their employees a piece of the pie, Computershare's got you. They help companies launch and manage employee equity plans, and regularly communicate with employees to ensure they're on the same page.

As you can see, Computershare does a lot more than the administration of buying and selling shares.

Now, we delved into what Computershare is all about. At its core, Computershare is like a bridge connecting you, the investor, to the shares you own. They simplify the sometimes twisty world of share ownership, making sure everything is in order.

Remember, every bit of knowledge you gain as an investor takes you a step closer to achieving your financial goals.

Happy investing!

What is Computershare? | Definitions for investing | Pearler (2024)

FAQs

What exactly does Computershare do? ›

Computershare is a global market leader in transfer agency and share registration, corporate trust services, employee equity plans, mortgage servicing, proxy solicitation and stakeholder communications, and specialize in a range of other diversified financial and governance services for public and private companies, ...

What is Computershare investment plan? ›

The Computershare Investment Plan (“CIP”) is a direct stock purchase and dividend reinvestment plan for investors of Dole PLC (“DOLE”).

How do I get my money out of Computershare? ›

What Are the Steps to Withdraw Money from Computershare?
  1. Step 1: Log into Your Computershare Account. ...
  2. Step 2: Navigate to the 'Withdraw Funds' Section. ...
  3. Step 3: Select the Account and Amount to Withdraw. ...
  4. Step 4: Choose Your Withdrawal Method. ...
  5. Step 5: Confirm and Submit Your Withdrawal Request.

Is Computershare a brokerage account? ›

Unlike a broker-dealer (where SIPC insurance may apply), Computershare does not hold the shares as an intermediary on the shareholder's behalf. Computershare does not lend securities.

How do Computershare make money? ›

Computershare Limited is a locally owned publicly listed company, deriving revenue from the provision of share registry services, investor services, employee share plan services and other business related services.

Does Computershare charge a fee to sell stock? ›

There are fees associated with selling Computershare Stock, including selling commission charges imposed by online brokerage platforms or financial institutions that facilitate the selling transaction.

How much does Computershare cost? ›

We do not charge you any fees for joining the Plan but each time we buy Shares for you we will charge you a dealing fee of 0.75% of the total price of the Shares purchased, subject to a minimum fee of £2.50.

How does Computershare pay out? ›

If the Appointing Issuer pays a cash dividend, Computershare will either send you a check for your dividends or reinvest them based on your preference. You must provide instructions regarding dividend reinvestment when you enroll in CIP.

Can Computershare sell my stock? ›

From your portfolio, click on the holding you wish to sell by going to the “actions” drop- down menu on the right and click “Sell” and follow the online prompts. 2. Contact Computershare at 855-377-0510 and they can assist with selling your shares.

Does Computershare report to IRS? ›

Computershare will send you an IRS Form 1099-B that reports the details of your sale. The same information will be sent to the IRS. In addition, for share transfers to brokers, Computershare will be required to furnish your broker with basis information on covered shares.

Can I transfer my shares out of Computershare? ›

There are various methods available for transferring shares from Computershare, including moving them to a different broker, account, or platform. To transfer shares to another broker, you can typically submit a request through the new broker's website or by filling out physical forms.

How do I cash out my shares? ›

Stocks can be cashed out by selling them through a broker on a stock exchange. Selling stocks can provide cash for major expenses or to reinvest in other assets.

Is Computershare a good investment? ›

Computershare Limited has 11.04% upside potential, based on the analysts' average price target. Computershare Limited has a consensus rating of Strong Buy, which is based on 7 buy ratings, 0 hold ratings and 0 sell ratings.

Which companies use Computershare? ›

Banque Cantonale du Jura
  • A. ABB E-mobility Holding AG. ABB Ltd. Achernar Assets AG. ...
  • B. Banque Cantonale du Jura SA. Banque Cantonale Vaudoise. Basilea Pharmaceutica AG. ...
  • C. CargoRoll Beteiligungs AG. Casino de Montreux SA. ...
  • D. Davos Klosters Bergbahnen AG. DSM-Firmenich AG.
  • E. Edisun Power Europe AG. EFG International AG.

Is Computershare a financial account? ›

Computershare Limited operates share registries and computer bureaus which includes the administration of employee share and option plans and the provision of software that specializes in share registry, financial and stock markets.

Is Computershare a good company? ›

Computershare has an employee rating of 3.5 out of 5 stars, based on 2,133 company reviews on Glassdoor which indicates that most employees have a good working experience there.

Can Computershare sell your shares? ›

Contact Computershare at 855-377-0510 and they can assist with selling your shares. How do I transfer my shares? If your account is directly held at Computershare and you need to re-title your account, you can access our transfer forms at https://www- us.

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