By Seyi Babalola
Group Chief Executive Officer of Access Holdings, Herbert Wigwe, his wife, son and three others are feared killed in a helicopter crash in the United States.
Others also feared killed are Abimbola Ogunbanjo, the group chairman of Nigerian Exchange Group Plc (NGX Group) and Herbert’s son.
The incident happened in California – Nevada border, United States.
Wigwe’s professional journey commenced at Coopers & Lybrand in Lagos, where he began as a management consultant before qualifying as a chartered accountant. Subsequently, he ventured into the banking sector, initially joining Capital Bank before making a significant impact at GTBank, where he rose to the position of executive director in charge of institutional banking.
In 2002, Herbert Wigwe and Aig-Imoukhuede embarked on a transformative endeavour by acquiring a stake in Access Bank, then a modest commercial bank ranked 65th among Nigeria’s financial institutions. Their strategic vision and leadership propelled Access Bank to become one of the top five banks in Nigeria and earned global recognition, with The Banker magazine listing it among the top 500 global banks. Today, Access Bank serves millions of customers across Nigeria, Sub-Saharan Africa, and the UK, boasting an extensive network of branches and ATMs.
Beyond his role at Access Bank, Wigwe held numerous leadership positions and served on the boards of several organizations, including Access Bank Ghana Limited and Access Investment & Securities Limited. He also chaired Central Securities and Clearing System (CSCS) and Access Bank (UK) Limited, demonstrating his commitment to advancing the banking industry both domestically and internationally.
Wigwe’s contributions extended beyond the corporate realm, as evidenced by his philanthropic initiatives and advocacy efforts. In 2016, he founded The HOW Foundation, a non-profit organisation dedicated to social impact projects. His commitment to youth development and community engagement earned him recognition, including being named Banker of The Year by prominent Nigerian newspapers.
Furthermore, Wigwe’s dedication to philanthropy manifested in partnerships with organizations like UNICEF, with whom Access Bank collaborated to support vulnerable children and communities in northern Nigeria. He also co-chaired the Nigerian Business Coalition against AIDS (NiBUCCA), demonstrating his commitment to addressing societal challenges.
Moreover, Wigwe’s legacy includes his involvement in creating The Access Conference, a thought leadership series aimed at addressing global challenges and fostering innovation. Through this platform, he engaged with world leaders and experts to provoke meaningful discussions on critical issues affecting humanity.
In recognition of his outstanding contributions to society, Wigwe was honored with the Nigerian national award of Commander of the Order of the Niger (CON) in October 2022 by President Muhammadu Buhari, further cementing his legacy as a visionary leader and philanthropist.
*Additional report by GHGossip.com