Singapore Bullion Market Association

World Gold Council & SBMA Academy: Training the Next Generation of the Bullion Industry


The World Gold Council (WGC) and the Singapore Bullion Market Association (SBMA) collaborated on a specialised pilot program on January 9, 2023, aimed at training and developing the next generation of talent in the industry and enhancing their knowledge of the bullion market.

The Academy attracted nearly 30 participants with varying levels of expertise and diverse functions in the business. The attendees represented different facets of the industry, including bullion banks, refineries, logistics, wholesale and retail dealers.

The objectives of the Academy are manifold:

  • Enhancing knowledge and expertise of the gold industry and gold as an asset class
  • Attracting new participation in the industry and developing a pipeline of talent
  • Promoting high standards of professional competency and ethical conduct
  • Enhancing Singapore’s role as a regional training hub

The programme consisted of the following modules:

  1. Gold Market Fundamentals, by Albert Cheng (CEO, SBMA)
  2. Gold Supply Chain, by Sean Mulhearn (Principal, Jacaranda Capital Partners)
  3. Gold as an Investment, by Andrew Naylor (Regional CEO, APAC ex-China, WGC)
  4. Basics of Bullion Trading, by Sean Mulhearn (Principal, Jacaranda Capital Partners)
  5. Market Principles and Standards, by Andrew Naylor (Regional CEO, APAC ex-China, WGC)
Participants listening attentively to the trainers during the program.

After introducing the participants and providing an outline of the course, Cheng launched the first module by discussing the factors affecting the demand and supply of gold. He highlighted the four primary sources of gold demand, which include jewellery (36%), technology (7%), investment (40%), and central banks (17%). Cheng advised the students to stay up-to-date with these numbers to understand the trends and direction of the gold industry and to be able to adapt to them.

Albert Cheng, CEO of SBMA, delivered the module on Gold Market Fundamentals.

In the second module, Mulhearn explained that companies have different risk profiles depending on their role in the supply chain, and they must manage price volatility to mitigate risks effectively. He also introduced market terminologies to non-traders, emphasising how traders look for opportunities to profit from fair value and arbitrage.

Sean Mulhearn, Principal of Jacaranda Capital Partners, who discussed the gold supply chain and basics of bullion trading.

Naylor presented the third module on gold as an investment, emphasising its benefits, such as returns, liquidity, diversification and portfolio protection. He then elaborated on how to access the gold market through direct methods, such as outright purchases of gold, or indirect means, such as owning gold mining equities.

Andrew Naylor, World Gold Council’s regional CEO in APAC (ex-China), spoke about gold as an investment, and market principles and standards.

In the fourth module, Mulhearn discussed the basics of bullion trading, focusing on trading and risk management techniques and trading strategies. He explained the three primary trading methods, which include physical trading, futures via regulated exchanges, and OTC swaps and options. Mulhearn also discussed how traders strategise their trades based on time spreads, future market direction, location and relative value.

The final module, delivered by Naylor, focused on technical standards for bars, coins, and jewellery, responsible sourcing and production concepts, and gold from an ESG perspective. He identified retail gold investment as a source of significant untapped demand and cited the lack of trust and poor public perception as barriers to owning gold. In Singapore, WGC is working with the SBMA on a Code of Conduct and certification to mitigate and bridge any gaps.

To conclude, Cheng encouraged the participants to network and stay in touch, emphasising that business relations in the gold industry tend to go a long way.

The Gold Academy modules are regularly reviewed and revised to meet the needs of businesses and institutions within the precious metals industry. For instance, in February, the academy held a customised two-day closed-door training session for a delegation from Indonesia.

If you’d like to work with us on running the Gold Academy for your company or organise events of a similar nature, please contact the SBMA Secretariat directly or email