Service institute in the service of the Swiss precious metals sector

The Swiss Precious Metals Institute (SPMI) is a think tank for the precious metals sector. Accordingly, SPMI deals with all topics related to precious metals. Our experts act as an independent expert body in the form of professional consultations. SPMI’s services are geared to the needs of the precious metals sector and revolve around the concerns of the various stakeholders.

SPMI promotes transparency as well as a common understanding of human rights compliant, socially and environmentally responsible mining and production of precious metals as well as a responsible supply chain. Our experts advise and support you and your teams in your initiatives regarding legal, economic, ethical and environmental aspects to ensure the excellence and exemplary nature of the Swiss precious metals sector. We are the leading source of contact and information for all issues affecting the precious metals sector and are in dialogue with business and political leaders.

Our commitment

The SPMI is the central point of contact and competent intermediary for all stakeholders from the precious metals sector

SPMI sees itself as the competence center for the precious metals sector in Switzerland. Accordingly, not only specific consulting services, but also training and education events are offered to all those who directly or indirectly come into contact with the precious metals sector. In this sense, our services and professional support are not only directed to a specific stakeholder group of the sector, but to all those who are interested and/or involved in the sector. Thus, we are not a mono-focused but rather a multi-focused service organization, as we are convinced that only by taking into account the needs of all stakeholders can the precious metals sector move forward in an efficient, transparent and sustainable manner.


Our commitment

We do pioneering work

Our mission is to provide market players in the precious metals sector with an overview and advise on the complexity of regulatory requirements. We promote transparency and a common understanding of socially and environmentally compatible extraction and processing of precious metals in conformity with human rights as well as a responsible supply chain.

At the same time, we advise and support market participants and their teams in their initiatives with regard to legal, economic, ethical and environmental aspects in order to ensure the excellence and best-in-class character of the Swiss precious metals sector. In this respect, we are a think-tank for all stakeholders from the precious metals community.

Management & Organisation

Our competencies at the service of the Swiss precious metals sector

Due to the complexity of the precious metals sector, personalities from the legal and operational industries and academia have come together to found and lead the SPMI. These personalities have a range of specialist knowledge in the precious metals sector as well as the regulatory area at national and international level.

Prof. Marcel Niggli
Prof. Marcel Niggli studied law at the University of Zurich and graduated in 1984. From 1984 to 1987 followed a stay in Italy and work in the legal department of an insurance company. In 1992, Mr. Niggli obtained a doctorate in law from the University of Zurich, after which he worked at the Zurich District Attorney's Office and the Zurich District Court. He was a lecturer at the Universities of Zurich (for methodology) and Freiburg im Üechtland (for criminology). In 1995, Mr. Niggli became assistant professor of criminal law and criminology at the University of Fribourg. In 1998, Marcel Niggli habilitated in criminal law, criminology and legal philosophy at the University of Zurich. In 1999, Marcel Niggli was appointed full professor of criminal law, criminal procedure and criminology at the University of Fribourg. He has been ordinary professor of Criminal Law and Legal Philosophy since 2001 and was also Dean of the Faculty of Law at this university from 2009-2014. Prof. 

Ordinary Professor for criminal law and legal philosophy
University of Freiburg

Claudio Berger
Claudio Berger worked for decades as a precious metals trader in a major Swiss bank. During his career, he was able to build up a great deal of know-how in the cash and forward business and is focused on physical, global precious metals trading. As the bank's representative, he has been involved with the OECD in Paris in promoting the guiding principles and due diligence, as well as responsible supply chains for minerals/precious metals from conflict and high-risk areas. He was also the bank's representative to the LBMA (London Bullion Market Association) and the LPPM (London Platinum and Palladium Market). Since 2020, Claudio Berger has his own consulting company for the precious metals industry. He mainly deals with global consulting in the field of physical precious metals for banks, companies and associations. This includes value transport, storage, and processing of physical precious metals. He also has a worldwide network of contacts with whom he regularly exchanges experience and information.
Business consultant for the precious metals industry
Federico Domenghini
Federico Domenghini mainly advises companies and entrepreneurs on all corporate matters. Due to the fact that he was chairman of the board of one of the world's largest gold refineries for many years, he also has many years of experience in the operational and regulatory environment of the precious metals industry.

Federico Domenghini is also a member of the working group of the Federal Department of Finance regarding DESIGNATED NON-FINANCIAL BUSINESSES AND PROFESSIONS (according to FATF Art. 18/23) and represents the interests of the Swiss precious metals industry within this body.

Federico Domenghini regularly lectures at various private and public institutions. After his admission as a lawyer in 2003, he initially worked as a research assistant for the Federal Office of Justice in the area of commercial register and company law as well as money laundering. From 2005 to 2010, he was a senior manager at a Big4. In 2010, he opened his own law firm, which is particularly active in the areas of corporate law and compliance.
Attorney at law
Lorenz Fivian
After studying law, Lorenz Fivian was able to gain in-depth knowledge of the insurance sector at the legal department of an insurance company. Since founding the law firm Elsig & Fivian, he has mainly advised insurance companies, pension funds and private individuals on insurance law and regulatory matters. Since 2011, he has been a member of the board of the self-regulatory organisation of the Swiss Insurance Association. In 2020, he was elected to the board of the Forum Swiss Self-Regulatory Organisations (Forum-SRO). Lorenz Fivian is a convinced advocate of self-regulation in the Swiss financial market.
Attorney at law
Sabir Sheikh

Sabir Sheikh is a proven expert in the Swiss financial market and corresponding regulation. He has been working at the Swiss stock exchange SIX for several years. As Head Listing & Enforcement and member of the Management Committee of SIX Exchange Regulation AG, he is responsible in particular for the admission of all securities to trading (incl. IPOs), the Prospectus Office and the enforcement of regulations. As part of this activity, he is responsible for and monitors investigation and sanction proceedings against issuers.
After his admission to the bar in 2003, Sabir Sheikh worked for several years as a lawyer specialising in financial market and insurance law, anti-money laundering law and international arbitration at MME Legal ¦ Tax ¦ Compliance in Zurich. Subsequently, he worked as Head Legal at UBS Asset Management AG from 2008 to 2016 and was, among others, a member of the Risk & Compliance Committee.

Sabir Sheikh is also an independent board member of the SRO of the Swiss Insurance Association (SRO-SIA) and an independent board member of several international investment companies in the private equity and infrastructure sectors.

Attorney-at-Law, LL.M
Dr. Niklaus Oberholzer
Former Federal Judge, Lawyer
Niklaus Oberholzer is registered in the register of layers of the Canton and is a member of the Zurich Bar Association. He works exclusively in an advisory capacity and takes on mandates in the area of coordination and support of complex criminal proceedings. In addition, he advises authorities and private individuals with regard to organizational and procedural issues in the police, intelligence services, public prosecutors' offices and courts. After obtaining his doctorate in 1983, he took up the then newly created position of Cantonal Examining Magistrate for Serious and Banking Crime at the Public Prosecutor's Office in St. Gallen. From 1990 onwards, he ran an independent law firm in St. Gallen with a focus on criminal defence. In 2000, the Cantonal Council elected him as a judge at the Cantonal Court of St. Gallen. He presided over the Prosecution Chamber (criminal procedural appeals authority) and the Bar Association (supervisory authority over lawyers). In 2012, he was elected by the Federal Assembly as a judge at the Swiss Federal Supreme Court in Lausanne. He took a seat there in the Criminal Division. He returned to the bar in 2020.