By Electronic Mail
July 29, 2003
Jonathan Katz, Secretary
Re: File No. S7-13-03
EquiServe, Inc. ("EquiServe") appreciates the opportunity to comment on the proposed amendments to Rule 17Ad-7 filed by the Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC") concerning recordkeeping requirements.
EquiServe is the largest non-mutual fund transfer agent in the country. We serve over 1,300 issuers and 24 million of their registered shareowner accounts.
EquiServe agrees with the proposed amendment to Rule 17Ad-7 clarifying that transfer agents may use electronic storage media as a substitute for hard copy records required under Rule 17Ad-6. Prior to the proposed amendment, there was ambiguity, especially with respect to cancelled certificates, as to whether hard copies needed to be maintained if also stored electronically pursuant to the requirements set forth in Rule 17Ad-7. This amendment will allow transfer agents to determine whether it is any longer cost effective to maintain hard copies and to take advantage of the efficiencies technological advances provide to us in storing documentation electronically.
EquiServe also agrees with the proposed amendment to Rule 17Ad-7 clarifying that a third party on behalf of the transfer agent can place source code for electronic storage systems in escrow. The existing language is problematic for those systems owned by third parties and licensed by transfer agents, as agents cannot escrow source code that does not belong or is not licensed to them.