A quick guide to Medallion Signature Guarantees

If you are transferring or selling US/Canadian securities such as stocks or bonds, you will naturally want to take all measures to ensure your transaction is concluded smoothly and safely. A Medallion Signature Guarantee (MSG) is a type of certification which ensures that the signature authorising the transfer/sale is genuine and the signatory has legal authority to sign, offering peace of mind to all parties within a transaction. MSGs are issued by members of a Medallion Signature Guarantee programme for example banks (only those within the USA and Canada), trust companies and brokers.

Fraser and Fraser is a certified Medallion guarantor; we hold our own Medallion Signature Guarantee stamp for transactions of up to US$1,000,000.

What is a Medallion Signature Guarantee?
If you are arranging the transfer, sale or transmittal (due to a company takeover) of securities, or a change of name of the holder, an MSG provides assurance that the signature on the transaction is genuine and by the appropriate person; this is mandated by the financial institutions handling transactions of this type.

The need for a Medallion Signature Guarantee can arise when an investor or their representative is dealing with holdings with companies that were previously UK-owned but have since been taken over by a North American firm. Examples include:
• Cadbury, which was taken over by Kraft in 2010
• UK Vodafone, which sold its 45% stake in Verizon Wireless to US telecoms group Verizon Communications for £130bn in 2013

When dealing with securities, a Medallion Signature Guarantee protects all participants involved, removing the possibility that someone might steal shares and cash them in. In addition, the transfer agent benefits from reduced liability in the event that the securities are misappropriated or forged, and the purchaser knows that they are buying legitimate securities from someone who has the legal right to transfer them.

Where do I get a Medallion Signature Guarantee from?
Only members of a Medallion Signature Guarantee programme can provide a signature guarantee. The best source of a Medallion Guarantee if you are based in North America is a bank, savings and loan association, brokerage firm, or credit union with which you already do business.

Can I obtain a Medallion Signature Guarantee if I am not based in North America?
Yes. Fraser and Fraser can provide the Medallion Signature Guarantee service to investors (or their legal representatives) who reside in the UK, Europe, Australia, New Zealand and other countries depending on the individual circumstances of the case. We are one of the few firms in the UK that has a Medallion Signature Guarantee stamp.

Is there a difference between a Medallion Signature Guarantee and a notarised document?
A Medallion Signature Guarantee and a notarised document can both used to verify the identity of parties involved and people agreeing to the documents in question. Only a Notary Public can provide a notarised document.

Another difference between a Medallion Signature Guarantee and a notarised document concerns liability. An organisation that issues a Medallion Signature Guarantee will be liable if your signature is forged.

If you are transferring securities, it is important to remember that notarised documents do not provide a suitable legal alternative to an MSG.

How can we help?
With a depth of experience dealing with a variety of holdings, we understand that each case is different. Fraser and Fraser offer a service tailored to your needs. With our ability to arrange Medallion Signature Guarantees in relation to stock and shares paperwork as well as the transfer and sale of US, Canadian and other international shareholdings, Fraser and Fraser are ready to help you.

Each application is assessed on a case by case basis and we will advise you of the necessary documentation required in response to individual enquiries. To protect our interests and that of our clients, ID checks must be performed before we can issue a Medallion Signature Guarantee.

Cost: from £195 per line of stock

If you require a Medallion Signature Guarantee, please contact our office on +44 (0) 20 7832 1430 or email: legal@fraserandfraser.co.uk to discuss your case and requirements. For more information please visit www.fraserandfraser.co.uk.



Back to the SOLICITORS group News

Media Centre

“The Solicitors Group online directory is an established and respected channel for legal professionals, meaning I can talk to my existing and future customers about products and services both quickly and easily.”

Carole Hatton
Marketing Manager
Landmark Information Group

“Reaching our niche market can sometimes be challenging, however we find promoting our legal training courses on www.thesolicitorsgroup.co.uk an excellent way of contacting both existing and new customers. The service we receive from The Solicitors Group is both professional and relevant to our core activities and we would recommend their services to others.”


“I must say that to date we have been very pleased with the referrals we are getting from your site.”

Paul West
Orchid Cellmark

“The Newsdesk feature on www.thesolicitorsgroup.co.uk is ideal for us. Its prominent location on the site provides a great platform to communicate key messages to existing and potential clients.”

Neil Phillips
Marketing Manager
Countrywide Legal Indemnities

"We are very happy with the referrals we are getting from The Solicitors Group web-site."

C.A. Bishop
Technical Director
Wickham Laboratories Ltd

“We received 419 click-throughs to our site from advertising with www.thesolicitorsgroup.co.uk”

Legal Prospects

“Putting myself in my potential client's shoes, I consider www.thesolicitorsgroup.co.uk to offer perhaps the clearest and most user-friendly listing of expert witnesses, especially in its choice of index terms.”

Ivan Vince
ASK Consultants

“The banner ad looks great”

Samantha Dawson
The Bundle Business Limited

“The Solicitors Group has been fantastic in helping us to raise awareness about bowel cancer, which kills 16,000 people every year in the UK. Bowel Cancer UK aims to save lives by raising awareness of bowel cancer, campaigning for best treatment and care and providing practical support and advice. Without the support of organisations such as the Solicitors Group we would be unable to carry out this vital work. We are very grateful to the team at the Solicitors Group for their support and assistance.”

Tamara Matthews
Legacy Officer
Bowel Cancer UK

“As a result of Law London, we have registered 208 new companies/firms to the website, generating £20,797 GWP to date, as well as reinforcing our presence in this very profitable marketplace.”


“The event was well put together and executed, and the traffic of potential customers for us was high. We had a number of enquiries regarding our services after the event and we feel our attendance there was important to our overall brand exposure. We feel a Law event of this size without Euromoney Legal Training present could potentially be hurtful to us as a business. We would recommend you to attend and shall ourselves be there again in 2008.”


“Many thanks for the prompt service.”

Martin Gibbs MBE
Director / Investigator
Griffin Forensics Ltd

“A targeted email to key customers is an invaluable method of communication, endorse this with the Solicitors Group branding, relevant editorial content and you have created a winning combination! We look forward to reading the next edition.”

Carole Hatton
Marketing Manager
Landmark Information Group

“Talking directly to Property Lawyers is critical to us as they are key customers or potentially could be for all of our products, The Solicitors Group offer a perfect solution to get our messages right to the right people”

Carole Hatton
Marketing Manager
Landmark Information Group

“Thank you for having a useful and informative site, it is good to see a comprehensive and friendly portal.”

Stefan Fann
UK Probate Services

“Cadogans aims to keep its brand image in front of lawyers who may be looking for engineering experts. A check on Google analytics showed that referrals to our website from The Solicitors Group website were above average.”

Daphne Wassermann
Technical Director