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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.


Secondary market

A market in which an investor purchases a security from another investor rather than the issuer.

Secured bond

A bond for which the issuer has set aside assets as collateral to ensure principal repayment and encourage timely interest payments.


The process of creating a tradable financial instrument by combining other non-tradable instruments, usually loan-based assets, and marketing them to investors.


A negotiable certificate evidencing a debt or equity obligation.


Payment or collection of proceeds after trading a security.

Short-dated bond

A bond with a term to redemption of less than five years.


Borrowing a security and selling it with the expectation of being able to repurchase it at a later date at a lower price, thereby making a profit.

Sovereign debt

Bonds issued by a central government.

Special purpose vehicle (SPV)

A subsidiary company whose operations are limited to the acquisition and financing of specific assets.

Spot price

The present market price of the relevant commodity, currency or investment instrument.


The difference in yield between two different bonds, for example the extra yield offered by corporate bonds over gilts.

Spread duration

A measure of the percentage change in a bond’s price for a 1% change in its option-adjusted spread. Often used to quantify the sensitivity of a portfolio to changes in spreads. The spread duration of a portfolio is the market weighted average of the spread duration of all its securities.

Standard deviation

A statistical measure of the variability of returns. Though often used to quantify risk, it assumes a normal (Gaussian) distribution of returns which may be unrepresentative of the behaviour of financial markets.

Strategic asset allocation

Development of a long-term asset allocation that is expected to meet the investor’s return objectives at an acceptable level of risk. See also tactical asset allocation.

Supply chain finance

Provides short-term credit that optimises working capital for both the buyer and the seller. Supply chain finance generally involves the use of a technology platform in order to automate transactions and track the invoice approval and settlement process from initiation to completion.


A contractual agreement to exchange a stream of periodic payments between counterparties. See also interest rate swap and inflation-linked swap.