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I own some shares in a non publicly traded investment company / mutual fund and I am told that the company is going to seek listing in the London Stock Exchange and have its shares become "CREST-qualified".

Up until now I've owned the shares directly under my name but I am now told that I will need to "appoint a bank or broker for the custody of the shares". I don't plan to do any trading at all with other stocks listed in the London Exchange and I expect to issue, at most, one or two purchases/sell orders per year for that particular stock only.

I have two questions:

  1. What's the best way for a US person to setup custody arrangement for a stock listed in the London Stock Exchange given that there's no trading intent? I should also mention that the company is quite obscure and low cap so I doubt it will ever become available on the platforms offered by brokers such as Charles Schwab or Fidelity which, IIUC, only make the most common stocks available. Should I be looking at banks offering custody services or at brokers? Would such a bank have to be US-based or can I also be looking at EU- or UK-based banks/brokers?

  2. I am not a US citizen and I am only in the US for a couple of years on a work visa; it's quite likely that I'll head back to Europe (EU) in 2020 or 2021 at which point I would like to move the custody of my shares to some EU bank / broker (if not from the start). Should I be aware of anything that might make the transfer of custody from a US-based bank/broker to a EU-based one overly costly / complicated? E.g. I wouldn't want the transfer of custody to be treated (for tax purposes) as a sell (since that would trigger capital gains).

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    Ar you sure you have to appoint a broker or bank? It is usually possible in most places to hold real paper shares even for listed corporations if you dont wish to trade them and merely want to keep holding them. – Vality Mar 29 at 22:30
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    AFAIK, the large brokers like Schwab will gladly handle any security on the London Stock Exchange, but their fees for doing so are probably much higher than a British firm's. – Andrew Lazarus Mar 30 at 0:17

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