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We believe a glossary is key for any client trying to navigate through the range of complex terms and jargon in our industry.

Our most frequently defined terms are defined below but if there's something you think we should add, please contact us.



1) In terms of a portfolio of assets, gearing the portfolio means borrowing cash to purchase more of the required assets so that the exposure to this is greater than the value of the original portfolio. Instead of borrowing, futures contracts are often used for gearing a portfolio. 2) In investment analysis, a highly-geared company is one where small changes in underlying conditions produce big swings in profits. Gearing can be financial, or operational if, for example, a company has large fixed overheads. 3) The amount of a company’s total borrowings divided by its share capital. High gearing means a proportionately large amount of debt compared to assets.


A bond issued by the UK Government in sterling and traded on the London Stock Exchange.

Gilt repos

The practice of selling gilts and simultaneously entering into an agreement to repurchase them at a fixed time and price. A technique used to fund temporary cash shortfalls, to fund long gilt positions, or to gear portfolios by borrowing against gilts. Buying gilts with a resale agreement is called a reverse repo and is a means of lending cash on a collateralised basis.

Gilt strips

Investors can buy separately either individual coupons or the ultimate principal repayment due on a specific gilt. These separate elements are referred to as principal or coupon strips and are identified by the payment date. The separation process is achieved by ‘stripping’ the gilt. A key benefit is that the duration of a strip is equal to its term, thus making it easier for pension funds to find securities to match fixed liabilities.

Government bond

A long-term coupon-bearing instrument issued by a government to finance its borrowing requirements.