Cede and Company (also known as Cede and Co. or Cede & Co.), shorthand for "certificate depository", is a specialist United States financial institution that processes transfers of stock certificates on behalf of Depository Trust Company, the central securities depository used by the United States National Market System, which includes the New York Stock Exchange, and Nasdaq.
Cede technically owns all of the publicly issued stock in the United States. Thus, investors do not themselves hold direct property rights in stock, but rather have contractual rights that are part of a chain of contractual rights involving Cede. Securities held at Depository Trust Company are registered in its nominee name, Cede & Co., and recorded on its books in the name of the brokerage firm through which they were purchased; on the brokerage firm's books they are assigned to the accounts of their beneficial owners.
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