File this bit of knowledge under “you don’t care, until you need to care” OR “really?”
As I’ve mentioned before, my exposure to public companies before iConsumer was as an investor or seller, not as a manager. I’ve learned an amazing amount about running a public company. More to come, I’m sure.
One of the fun, trivial things I’ve learned about is the “Medallion Guarantee”. Basically, a notary public on steroids. A double dose of steroids.
Typically, the requirements for getting a document notarized in the United States are pretty trivial. As far as I know it’s not terribly hard for you to become a notary public, and the work notaries go through to authenticate your signature is pretty quick and easy.
Getting a medallion guarantee on a document is anything but quick or easy. The person authenticating your signature really cares to get it right, is under a lot more scrutiny to get it right, and charges a lot more money to perform his or her services. Plus, there aren’t a whole lot of them, making getting a medallion guarantee much more of a bother.
Why do I know this arcane bit of knowledge? It turns out that if you want to transfer your stock to another person (not a stock broker) you need to file a form with the transfer agent, and you need to have your signature on that form authenticated with a medallion guarantee.
I’ve even learned that it’s a U.S. thing, good luck getting a medallion guarantee outside of North America.