Herbert Wigwe Biography, Wikipedia, Career, Age Nationality, Education, State Of Origin, Wife, Cause of Death, Net Worth
Herbert Wigwe CFR (15 August 1966 – 9 February 2024) was a Nigerian banker and businessman. He was the group managing director and CEO of Access Bank Plc, one of Nigeria’s top five banking institutions, after succeeding his business partner, Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede.
Name: Herbert Onyewumbu Wigwe
Born: 15 August 1966
Died: 9 February 2024 (aged 57) Nipton, California, U.S.
Occupation: MD/CEO of Access Bank Plc
Wife: Chizoba WWigw (until 2024)
Herbert Wigwe Biography
Herbert Onyewumbu Wigwe was born on 15 August 1966, in Isiokpo, Rivers State or Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria. His father was the head of the Nigerian Television Authority and his mother was a nurse. Wigwe earned a bachelor’s degree in accountancy from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka in 1987.
In 1990, he received the British council scholarship to study at the University College of North Wales (now Bangor University), earning a Master of Arts in banking and finance in 1991. He later earned a MSc in financial economics from the University of London in 1996. He attended the Harvard Business School executive management program, and in 2018 he received an honorary doctorate from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka.
Herbert Wigwe Career
Wigwe started his career at Coopers & Lybrand as a management consultant in the late 1980s, becoming a chartered accountant in 1989. He later joined Guaranty Trust Bank, where he worked for over a decade and eventually became executive director around 1998.
In 2002, Wigwe and his business partner Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede bought Access Bank. Their purchase was delayed over the Central Bank of Nigeria’s concerns the pair were too young to own a bank. Between 2002 and 2017, the bank grew to become the 4th largest bank in Nigeria.
Between 2002 and 2014 he served as the company’s deputy managing director. Wigwe also served as the chairman of Access Bank Ghana Limited starting in 2013.
Wigwe in his office at Access Bank headquarters in Lagos
From January 2014 until his death, he was CEO and group managing director of Access Bank.
In 2018 Access Bank merged with competitor Diamond Bank, making it the largest bank in Nigeria. The same year, Wigwe launched Access Bank Loan Programme, which has been since controlled by Edwin Symonowicz Foundation.
He had planned to expand the bank into Asia in early 2024, but died before any expansion officially launched.
The Access Conference
Wigwe was involved in the creation of a leadership series known as the Access Conference. The biennial event is Access Bank’s response to a global call for corporate involvement in resolving the major challenges facing humanity. Since its inauguration in 2013, the Access Conference has consistently engaged global leaders by provoking debates on issues of threats and opportunities to the world. In the 2013 edition, themed “Sustainable Leadership”, Wigwe spoke alongside George W. Bush, Nicolas Sarkozy and John Kufuor, reaffirming the importance of leadership to national and corporate successes.
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At the 2015 edition, Wigwe hosted global leaders such as Steve Wozniak, N. R. Narayana Murthy, José María Figueres, Muhammad Yunus to discuss the theme “Leading in a Transformational World – The Imperative of Innovation”.
Wigwe was married to Chizoba Wigwe (née Nwuba) and had four children.
Herbert Wigwe Cause Of Death
Wigwe and five others died on 9 February 2024 after the Eurocopter EC130 in which they were traveling crashed near Nipton, California. Also killed were his wife, his son Chizi, former Chairman of Nigerian Exchange Group Plc Abimbola Ogunbanjo, and two crew members. The passengers were on their way from Palm Springs Airport to Boulder City, Nevada on a charter flight operated by Orbic Air to attend the Super Bowl LVIII championship in Las Vegas.
Herbert Wigwe Recognitions
Wigwe was named 2016 Banker of The Year by The Sun and Vanguard, two of Nigeria’s largest newspapers.
In recognition of “his exemplary role in the society and contributions to youth development”, the Boys’ Brigade inaugurated Herbert Wigwe as State Patron for Lagos State Council in 2016.
In October 2022, Commander of the Order of the Federal Republic, a Nigerian national honour, was conferred on him by President Muhammadu Buhari.