A registrar provides a service to listed companies. The core tasks of a registrar are:
- maintaining a register of holders of shares (and other registered securities)
- dealing with corporate actions such as dividend payments.
These are primarily the responsibility of a company secretary. It is usually more cost effective to outsource the work to a specialist registrar who is able to invest in the systems and staff to deal with these efficiently. This is a good example of economies of scale.
The work of a registrar mirrors that of a custodian. Both reduce a client's costs and paperwork that result from the ownership of securities. One does this for issuers, the other for large investors.