DRIP Investing, Step by Step
While some companies manage their own DRIPs, it's more common that a separate bank is the administrator of the DRIP plan.
Sometimes, the company's transfer agent manages the DRIP. A transfer agent is the company that maintains the records of ownership of a publicly-traded company, keeping track of all the investors who own shares.
The DRIP administrator is the investor's contact for information about enrolling in a plan, for account details, or other information.
The following are some of the major transfer agents that are currently administering DRIP and direct purchase plans:
- Bank of New York.
- Boston EquiServe.
- ChaseMellon Shareholder Services.
- First Chicago Trust Company.
- Harris Bank.
Occasionally, some companies do not sponsor or manage their own DRIPs. These DRIPs are sponsored instead by a financial institution, and are known as bank-sponsored plans. Usually, fees are slightly higher in bank-sponsored plans, but in other respects they are the same as company-sponsored plans, at least from the perspective of the investor.