Heir Hunters Series 9 Preview - Finders are back in action!

It was all hands on deck when the case of Roger Stuart Lennon, initially referred privately to the Finders team became public. Aware that competing firms would also be seeking out Roger's rightful heirs, Finders boss Daniel Curran put everyone on the job of tracing Roger's beneficiaries.

CATCH up - Finders on BBC Heir Hunters Series 8

Follow Finders team of researchers along the exciting trail of discovery that leads through a family history that covers the First World War and shines a light on the old world of domestic service. Meet family members and hear their recollections as the Finders team trace Pub Landlord Michael Naish’s heirs in this episode of the new series of Heir Hunters..

Finders International Probate Genealogists
Finders are one of the world’s leading firms of international probate genealogists. We trace missing heirs and next of kin for Lawyers, Corporate & State Trustees, Councils, Administrators, Executors, Hospitals, Coroners & others needing to identify and locate beneficiaries to estates, funds and assets worldwide.

The Medallion Guarantee Stamp

As specialists in the field of transatlantic transfers and sales of shareholdings, Finders will help you to obtain the Medallion Guarantee stamp, which you will need to transfer or sell US and Canadian securities.
The cost of one stamp is
£ 245 *
Additional stamps in the same order will cost £195 +VAT for each stamp
What is it?
Why do I need a Medallion Signature Guarantee Stamp?
For someone who is living outside the US and holding stock in a US or Canadian listed company, the only way to sell the shares or transfer the ownership into a different name is to submit a Medallion Guarantee stamped Transfer Request or Stock Power Form to the transfer agent along with various required documents.
What is it?
The Medallion Guarantee (above) is stamped onto the Transfer Request Form. It acts as official authentication of the validity and authority of the person initiating the transfer. The stamp shows the transfer agent that the signature is genuine, enabling them to proceed with their instruction to transfer or sell the stock. It is intended to protect shareholders and transfer agents alike from fraud. With this in mind, the stamp providers must therefore assure themselves that the person initiating a transfer of securities is who they say they are.
Who can issue them?
Providers of the Medallion Guarantee Stamp in the UK are all members of the Securities Transfer Agents Medallion Program (STAMP). They comprise a handful of companies in the UK who are authorised to issue the Medallion Guarantee Stamp but only when they are entirely satisfied that all criteria have been meticulously observed.
As agent to a STAMP member, Finders International provides a no-nonsense , quick turnaround service at no extra cost to the customer. They will ensure that all the documentation is present and correct before sending on to the stamp provider, helping prevent delays occurring while additional documentation is sought.
Case Study

During his twenty year career as an Accounts Executive for Multi-National Corp, Mr John Clerk had accrued quite a number of shares given to him as annual bonuses.

By the time of his death, Mr Clerk had become the proud owner of 640 shares, worth approximately GBP£25K. Because in his later years he became confused and threw his correspondence away without reading it, Mr Clerk did not know Multi-National Corp had recently merged with American Conglomerate Giant Inc, thereby changing the nationality of the shares from the London Stock Exchange to the New York Stock Exchange. As a result, Mr Clerk he had unwittingly become an overseas shareholder of US listed stock.

This asset came to light when his solicitor, Jane Smith – a probate lawyer of many years standing – was instructed by Mr Clerk’s widow to sell the shares. Jane Smith had no idea of the headache that was to follow…..

First off and in good faith, she wrote to the US Transfer Agent (or share registrar) with a copy of the death certificate to let them know that Mr Clerk had died and that she wished to transfer Mr Clerk’s shares into his widow’s name. She received an automated, generic letter listing the documents that she would need to submit in order to transfer the shares into a different name.

These included original death certificate and grant of probate, Mr Clerk’s Will, lots of identification documents, various letter of authority, forms and a Medallion Guarantee stamped transfer request form.

A Medallion Guarantee Stamp? What on earth is that? And where do I get one? How much do they cost? And all these documents – signed and in some cases notarised too? Suddenly this was looking like a very complicated procedure.

Jane conferred with a colleague who put her onto Finders International. Louise Levene is Manager of the International Asset Services Team and has a wealth of experience in dealing with overseas assets of all kinds.

For a simple one-off fee of £725 + VAT and disbursements, Louise and her team were able to prepare the necessary documents ready for signature, obtain the Medallion Guarantee stamp, liaise with the US authorities and in a matter of a few months the US shares were put into Mary Clerk’s name and sold. Mary received a check for £25,467.34. She did not re-invest the money in US stock…

Samantha and Wilfred divorced in 2013. As a wedding present five years earlier Samantha’s American parents had gifted them shares in a US company. As part of the divorce settlement the shares were to be transferred into Samantha’s sole ownership.

Samantha wrote to the transfer agent with the relevant documents showing that the stock should be transferred into her sole name. The response, several weeks later, was an automated letter telling her that she needed to obtain a Medallion Guarantee Stamp on the transfer document before the name on the share certificate could be transferred into her sole name.

A Medallion Guarantee Stamp? This is a special signature guarantee for the transfer of securities for all US and Canadian shares. US regulations stipulate that without this stamp the shares cannot change name or ownership.

Samantha researched all the information she could find about obtaining a Medallion Guarantee Stamp, including how much they cost and all the companies who offered to obtain them – specifically for people living outside of North America. She quickly settled upon Finders International because they were the most friendly and efficient when she contacted them. She sent in the required documents, which included various forms of identification and the transfer request form supplied by the transfer agent, and with a matter of days the Medallion Guarantee stamped document was on its way back to her.

She was then able to re-apply to have the shares changed into her sole name.

Contact information
Louise Levene
For assistance with your enquiry please contact us now.
Yewande Akeju

Recognising that dealing with overseas financial institutions can be difficult and time-consuming, Finders also offers a full service in selling US and Canadian shares. Please contact us for a bespoke quotation if this is something you may be interested in.

* In certain circumstances this fee will increase to £330 + VAT if the person applying is a private individual as opposed to a professional body.
Fees payable to Finders in full in advance. Payments accepted by BACS, cheque or by credit or debit card over the phone.