Small private companies either carry out this task in-house, or contract with their professional advisers such as lawyers or accountants to keep a registrar, but this approach may not always be ideal - and is difficult to scale.
It can be time consuming, expensive, pose an operational risk and is also impractical as a business grows - or if it is issuing a wider range of instruments, such as bonds.
As the number of (share) holders on a company's register - and consequently the complexity of managing it - expands, the requirement for professional registrar services arises.
Outsourcing the management of the (share) holder register allows a firm with specialist knowledge to remove the internal burden, whilst from a governance perspective this also provides a degree of reassurance to directors - and indeed shareholders in general.
In order to cope with electronic - and potential high volume-trading, where ownership of securities may change in just a few microseconds, many jurisdictions have turned securities into a purely electronic format.
However in the British Isles (UK, Ireland, Channel Islands and the Isle of Man) a system operates where physical share certificates can sit alongside electronic holdings.
Avenir, with its excellent technology, operate an efficient real time on-line register, but can also offer paper certificates where this is preferred.