Herbert Onyewumbu Wigwe, popularly known as, Herbert Wigwe the CEO of Access Holdings in Nigeria, sadly lost his life in a helicopter crash in California on Friday night.
This information was confirmed by Access Holdings Plc and various news sources. Born on August 15, 1966, in Lagos, Nigeria, Wigwe was a well-known Nigerian banker and entrepreneur, leading Access Bank since 2014.
Access Holdings Plc’s board is expected to soon announce an acting Group Chief Executive Officer to fill the void left by his passing.
Meet Herbert Wigwe: Introduction
Herbert Onyewumbu Wigwe, born on 15 August 1966 in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria, left an indelible mark as a Nigerian banker and businessman.
As the MD/CEO of Access Bank and Access Holdings, he played a pivotal role in shaping the financial landscape of Nigeria.
Tragically, his life was cut short on 9 February 2024 in a helicopter crash near Nipton, California, U.S. Let’s delve into the remarkable journey of this influential figure.
Age, Birthplace, and Occupation
Herbert Wigwe, aged 57 at the time of his passing, hailed from Rivers State, Nigeria. As of 2024, he held Nigerian citizenship and was the MD/CEO of Access Bank and Access Holdings, leaving an indelible mark on the banking sector.
Early Life and Education
Herbert’s academic journey began at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in accountancy in 1987.
His quest for knowledge led him to the University College of North Wales (now Bangor) on a British Council Scholarship, culminating in a Master of Arts in banking and finance in 1991.
Further academic pursuits included an MSc in Financial Economics from the University of London in 1996.
He was also an alumnus of the Harvard Business School Executive Management Program and received an honorary doctorate from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, in 2018.
Wigwe’s professional journey commenced at Coopers & Lybrand, followed by a decade-long stint at Guaranty Trust Bank. In 2002, he, along with Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede, acquired Access Bank.
Under their leadership, the bank soared to become the 4th largest in Nigeria by 2017.
Wigwe served as deputy managing director from 2002 to 2014 and subsequently took the reins as CEO and group managing director until his untimely death.
Access Conference and Philanthropy
Wigwe’s impact extended beyond the boardroom. He played a crucial role in establishing the Access Conference, a biennial leadership series addressing global challenges.
His commitment to philanthropy manifested through collaborations with UNICEF, particularly in supporting vulnerable children and organizing the annual Access Bank/UNICEF Charity Shield Polo tournament.
In 2016, he founded The HOW Foundation, a non-profit organization.
Herbert Wigwe was a family man, married to Chizoba Wigwe, and blessed with four children: Chizi, Tochi, Hannah, and David.
This tragic helicopter crash on 9 February 2024 claimed not only his life but also that of his wife and son, leaving the entire Access Family and the banking community in mourning.
Death and Legacy
The helicopter crash near Nipton, California, marked the untimely end of Herbert Wigwe’s remarkable journey.
His contributions were acknowledged with numerous awards, including the Commander of the Order of the Niger. In his memory, Wigwe University was set to open in fall 2024.
Net Worth (as of 2024)
At the time of his passing, Herbert Wigwe’s estimated net worth stood at around $65.2 million, a testament to his success in the banking and investment sectors.
|Herbert Onyewumbu Wigwe
|15 August 1966
|Place of Birth
|Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria
|Date of Death
|9 February 2024
|Age (as of 2024)
|MD/CEO of Access Bank and Access Holdings
|Bachelor’s degree in accountancy (1987)
Master of Arts in banking and finance (1991)
MSc in Financial Economics (1996)
Harvard Business School Executive Management Program
Honorary doctorate from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (2018)
|Coopers & Lybrand
Guaranty Trust Bank
Acquisition of Access Bank in 2002
Deputy Managing Director (2002-2014)
CEO and Group Managing Director of Access Bank (2014-2024)
|Initiated a leadership series addressing global challenges
|Collaboration with UNICEF
Founder of The HOW Foundation
Co-chair of Nigerian Business Coalition against AIDS (2017)
Announcement of Wigwe University in fall 2024
|Married to Chizoba Wigwe (née Nwuba)
|Four children: Chizi, Tochi, Hannah, and David
|Helicopter crash on 9 February 2024 near Nipton, California
|Net Worth (as of 2024)
|2016 Banker of The Year by The Sun and Vanguard
Commander of the Order of the Niger (2022)
Herbert Onyewumbu Wigwe’s life story is a tapestry of leadership, philanthropy, and financial acumen. As we reflect on his legacy, we remember a man who left an indelible mark on Nigeria’s banking industry and beyond.