Chip Unsworth is an American banker, businessman and investor. Unsworth founded Broadmark Capital and later Legend Merchant. Legend Merchant was a pioneer in the development and underwriting of Special Purpose Acquisition Companies better known today as SPACs. SPACs give investors the right to vote for or against an acquisition.
Legend Merchant offices were next door to the iconic New York Stock Exchange moving in one month after 9/11.
Legend Merchant, was one of the more prolific SPAC underwriters, having lead, co-managed or participated in the selling group of over 80 SPACs during the 2003-2008 era. In fact, Legend could arguably be called one of the original firms that got the SPAC ball rolling. Over the years many bulge bracket firms sought to compete and enter the lucrative SPAC IPO underwriting business. Legend Merchant, for example, likely felt the rush by bulge bracket banks more acutely when Deutsche Bank poached three of its top executives for its SPAC equity business.
Mr Unsworth started his career with Moore, Schley & Cameron, Oppenheimer and Gruntal &Co and always fought for investors; working with management teams, board of directors and sometimes advocating Proxy contests to unlock value for investors. The LQP proxy contest resulted in the sale of La Quinta Motor Inns Limited Partnership (LQP on the NYSE)to its Bass Brothers controlled parent La Quinta Inns Inc.(LQM on the NYSE) a profit for investors.
The PMP proxy contest resulting in Prime Motor Inns Limited Partnership (symbol PMPI OTC) ultimately selling the assets to Servico (symbol SER on the NYSE) a profit for investors.
The TIS proxy contest TIS Mortgage(symbol TIS NYSE) resulted in a long and much too costly endeavor. The incumbent management and board successfully defended the proxy contest and eventually wound down operations resulting in a loss to investors. The cost of fighting for investors led Unsworth to co-found Broadmark Capital and eventually later establishing and founding Legend Merchant.