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Negotiating Skills for the ISDA Master Agreement: The Essential Playbook for Over-the-Counter Derivatives Hardcover – February 11, 2011

ISBN-13: 978-0132099639 ISBN-10: 0132099632 Edition: 1st

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Frequently Bought Together

Negotiating Skills for the ISDA Master Agreement: The Essential Playbook for Over-the-Counter Derivatives + Mastering the ISDA Master Agreements: A Practical Guide for Negotiation (3rd Edition) + Mastering ISDA Collateral Documents: A Practical Guide for Negotiators (2nd Edition) (Financial Times)
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: FT Press; 1 edition (February 11, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0132099632
  • ISBN-13: 978-0132099639
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #352,544 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

“The book does a fantastic job of distilling commonly accepted fallback provisions and effective negotiating strategies into a quick and easy guide for seamlessly establishing over-the-counter derivative trading relationships with broker-dealers. With this book, a practitioner can cut through lengthy negotiations armed with legal provisions that have become standard in the marketplace.”

--Christian Pugaczewski, Attorney


“This is a great, practical guide for professionals and attorneys in the OTC derivatives industry. If you are interested in adequately protecting your interests under the ISDA Master Agreement, this book is a must-read.”

--Seth M. Zaben, Attorney


  • Practical ISDA negotiation guidance focusing on the negotiable areas of the 1992 and 2002 ISDA Master Agreement
  • Includes drafting recommendations, language suggestions, and operational tips
  • Tailored for hedge and other investment funds, many of the negotiable areas, recommendations, language suggestions, and operational tips in this playbook are relevant to all users of the ISDA Master Agreement
  • Includes the 1992 ISDA Master Agreement, 2002 ISDA Master Agreement, and 1994 ISDA Credit Support Annex as appendices for quick reference


This is the first no-nonsense, start-to-finish roadmap for protecting your interests in the negotiation of the ISDA Master Agreement. Drawing on a wealth of ISDA experience in the trenches, Seth P. Bender, Esq., distills today’s most effective negotiating strategies into a quick and easy guide for establishing OTC derivative trading relationships.


Bender helps you identify onerous provisions you can confidently decline, as well as revisions to the Schedule and Paragraph 13 that provide crucial, additional protection and are widely accepted by dealers.


Replete with easy-to-follow examples, drafting recommendations, and language suggestions, this playbook will help you identify industry “soft spots” and take advantage of them. Even if you’re new to negotiating the ISDA Master Agreement, it will help you level the playing field–executing more efficient, favorable contracts with fewer dealer termination rights.


Increasingly, institutions that transact over-the-counter (OTC) derivatives rely on the International Swaps and Derivatives Association, Inc.’s (ISDA) Master Agreement. However, many financial professionals find themselves disadvantaged when negotiating with dealer counterparties due to the complexity of the agreement.


Negotiating Skills for the ISDA Master Agreement will help these professionals level the playing field. This is the first complete, practical guide to successfully negotiating the ISDA Master Agreement and its associated Credit Support Annex. OTC derivatives attorney Seth P. Bender clarifies what dealers will and won’t concede, helping readers focus on the issues and provisions they can actually change.


Bender clearly introduces the ISDA Master Agreement’s documentation architecture, provides drafting recommendations and language suggestions, and offers specific operational tips related to the Credit Support Annex and the collaterization of exposure. He also devotes a full chapter to recent ISDA initiatives.


Whatever your role in negotiating OTC derivative transactions governed under the terms of an ISDA Master Agreement, this book will help you protect your interests--fairly, efficiently, and consistently.


  • Cut through lengthy negotiations and get the results you need
    Arm yourself with Schedule and Paragraph 13 improvements that dealers typically accept
  • Use the ISDA Master Agreement to minimize counterparty credit risks
    Reduce dealers’ ability to unexpectedly terminate existing contracts
  • Understand the ISDA’s recent initiatives
    Specifically the “Close-out Amount,” “Big-Bang,” and “Small-Bang” Protocols
  • Use the Credit Support Annex to collateralize your OTC derivative transactions
    Understand the Credit Support Annex and how to negotiate it

About the Author

Seth P. Bender, Esq., is a graduate of Washington University in St. Louis, and attended law school at the Fordham University School of Law in New York City. He began his career in the Capital Markets practice at the law firm Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP. Since that time, he has consulted at some of the largest New York buy- and sell-side institutions negotiating new trading documentation and renegotiating preexisting agreements to account for the changes in today’s volatile markets. His experience at investment managers and dealers has provided him with a diverse forum to examine the varying issues applicable to each of these constituents during market swings, and has provided him with a greater understanding of both sides of a trading relationship, the terms generally accepted in the marketplace by dealers, and the inefficiencies created in the negotiation process--knowledge that he believes can streamline the negotiation phase of the ISDA Master Agreement for many industry participants.

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By nyccpa on November 1, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I found this book to be very helpful in that it was concise and easy for someone without a legal background to understand. Not sure what the previous reviewer had expected, but the book's intent is clearly not to be a long-winded analysis of the CSA. In my opinion, the 36 pages of material more than enough covers the CSA - a document that's typically 14 pages. Overall, I would recommend this book to anyone who's looking to gain a better understanding of ISDA Master Agreements without having to sift through an enormous amount of information.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By ISDA & Derivatives Esq. on October 21, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I've found that the playbook lives up to its billing. It is exactly what the title suggests it is, a playbook. The playbook gives the reader exactly what s/he is seeking, if in fact, the reader is seeking an introduction to the structure ISDA Master Agreement, and a helpful guide through the intricacies of the most highly negotiated points of the ISDA Master Agreement.

The author does a superb job in streamlining the material, and laying out the fundamentals of the ISDA Master Agreement, defining concepts, and the terms found therein, and defining the respective role of each party plays in trades transacted under an ISDA Master Agreement. Plus, he gives the reader a rationale behind each negotiating tip and drafting recommendation which he provides.

The author literally, provides the reader with "real-world" sample language in which an ISDA Negotiator can use to "reduce the frequency and scope of events that permits a dealer to terminate transactions under an ISDA Master Agreement", which is the Negotiator's chief goal when negotiating an ISDA Master Agreement.

I recommend the playbook for both new and experienced ISDA Negotiators, as the playbook provides invaluable and timely negotiating tips and drafting recommendations in light of the financial crisis of 2007-2008, and the recently enacted Dodd-Frank Legislation. The newly minted negotiator should start by enrolling in the author's course at the NYIF, which gives you a look at negotiating ISDA Master Agreements from a 10,000 feet and above perspective, and supplementing his/her training by filling in the gaps by purchasing and reading the playbook.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a very difficult book to read. I purchased it because we were considering financial deals that involved these types of structures. I did not need to negotiate but wanted material to help understand the landscape. This definitely was not the book.
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