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Janet Wynn, DTCC Managing Director | July 8, 2005


This past May, Delaware joined a growing number of states in helping to modernize the financial services industry by eliminating the requirement for public companies incorporated there to issue paper stock certificates.

Physical securities, as they are known on Wall Street, are largely a thing of the past — a vestige of a bygone era when messengers in knickers carried satchels of securities and checks from one brokerage house to another to settle trades. Issuing, storing and replacing physical securities — which are expensive to process and easy to steal or forge — cost investors and the financial services industry an estimated $250 million per year.

The preferred alternative, of course, is electronic book entry, which is how people purchase mutual funds, certificates of deposit, and U.S. Treasury notes and bonds. No one would ever think of asking for physical shares of a mutual fund, but some investors still are attached to the idea of holding paper certificates when it comes to owning equities.

Download the Congressional Testimony: When Will the Paper Chase Ever End in Arizona?