April 4, 2011

“The long wait is finally over. Golf’s greatest players are here and ready to swap stories and memories while pursuing the Green Jacket, but first they will join us in negotiating another (ISDA) Masters. Hi everybody, I’m Jim Nance here with Nick Faldo. Golf’s premier stage is set at the stunning and historic Augusta National course for what should be a thrilling experience. The pairings are set and we are ready to tee off and document one of the most highly anticipated sporting events of the year.”

“That’s right, Jim. Before we get into the parties to this year’s (ISDA) Masters, let me tell you more about this historic event. It seems like every year we see new faces eager to trade anonymity for golf greatness, but first they need to know that when you negotiate a new (ISDA) Masters, you make a single agreement that will govern how you play across the whole tournament. It’s not just the (ISDA) Masters itself, but also includes the course Schedule and the Confirmation of your play. Together, they all form part of the legend and the pageantry that is the (ISDA) Masters. Let’s see what the players have to say.”

“This tournament has always attracted the world’s top golfers, who know that if they want to get the deal done, they need to start right here. No (ISDA) Masters, it seems, would be complete without Tiger Woods. Tiger, do you have a single greatest memory to share with us?” “Well, I’ve been fortunate to be a party to more than a dozen (ISDA) Masters at this point, but I think the 2002 (ISDA) Masters stands out in my mind. That’s when I put it all together, and I really incorporated a number of changes from previous years. I know many folks still refer back to the 1992 (ISDA) Masters, when Fred Couples donned the Green Jacket, but he had to modify so many more aspects of his game in the Schedule, whereas it was already part of my game.“

“Phil Mickelson, what is it that you think about when you come here to negotiate a new (ISDA) Masters?” “You know, Nick, I like to focus on the positive aspects of the game, like where to send notices of my impending 4th victory here at Augusta National, and when and how to net and deliver my winnings across all of my tournaments! Just kidding. I’ll be honest; I really focus on Events of Default and Termination Events. I know that the (ISDA) Masters is really a body of rules. I know that if I slip up and default under the (ISDA) Masters, I will be called out on it. In many cases, I will be given the opportunity to cure my default with a stroke penalty, but there are also Termination Events that would pretty much end my tournament play. There is no coming back from missing the cut line and being given notice of your Early Termination.”

“Lee Westwood and Angel Cabrera, what can you tell us about your (ISDA) Masters experience? “Well, for one thing, many folks don’t realize that the (ISDA) Masters is internationally recognized, and that legal opinions have been written as to the enforceability of its provisions in every major jurisdiction across the planet.” “And Angel can tell you just how amazing it is to compete from a foreign land under these same terms” “That’s right, Lee, it was a magical experience to see things go to plan and fully execute my (ISDA) Masters. And I had the foresight to scope in FX transactions so that I could convert my USD winnings into Argentine Pesos. Much of what I negotiated is now standard for any player to incorporate into their own game.”

“Well, there you have it, Nick, some of the greats sharing their memories as we look to negotiate a new (ISDA) Masters. One thing is for sure, the parties to this agreement are eager to get started and document their historic experience as well. Be sure to tune in to this year’s tournament, and if you have any questions on specific aspects or provisions of this greatest of games, don’t forget to check in with your friends at Chatham Financial, who have negotiated the (ISDA) Masters for 20 years and counting. Good luck to all the parties out there, ready to tee off and get their deal done.”

Note: The above fictitious account never really happened and we doubt it ever would. There is clearly no endorsement of the content of this newsletter by the parties mentioned. But we are sure they would agree that getting your ISDA Master Agreement right is like winning your own green jacket!