Herbert Wigwe was a Nigerian banker and entrepreneur who died in a helicopter crash in 2024. He was the CEO of Access Holdings Plc, one of the largest banks in Africa. He was also a philanthropist and a leader in the banking industry.
He had degrees in accountancy, banking and finance, and financial economics from various universities. He started his career as a management consultant and then worked as an executive director at GTBank. In 2002, he and his partner acquired Access Bank and transformed it into a top bank in Nigeria and globally.
He was also the chairman of several subsidiaries of Access Bank, and served on the board of various organizations. He was recognized as the African Banker of the Year in 2021. He died on February 10, 2024, along with five other passengers, when the helicopter he was traveling in crashed near the border of California and Nevada.
Herbert Wigwe State Of Origin
Herbert Wigwe is from Ikwerre, a local government area in Rivers State.
Herbert Wigwe Age
Herbert Wigwe was 53 years old when he died.
Herbert Wigwe Early Life and Education
Herbert Wigwe was born on August 15, 1966, in Lagos, Nigeria. He grew up in a middle-class family and showed an interest in finance from a young age. He attended the prestigious King’s College, Lagos, where he excelled in academics and sports.
He obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Accountancy from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, in 1987. He graduated with honors and was awarded the Dean’s Prize for the best graduating student in the Faculty of Business Administration. He also won the ICAN Prize for the best student in Accounting.
He continued his education in the United Kingdom, where he earned a Master of Arts degree in Banking and International Finance from the University College of North Wales (now Bangor University) in 1989. He also obtained a Master of Science degree in Financial Economics from the University of London in 1990.
He completed his professional training at the Harvard Business School Executive Management Program in 2006. He also became a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) and an Honorary Member of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN). He was also a member of several professional associations and bodies, such as the Nigerian Economic Summit Group and the Business Council for Africa.
Herbert Wigwe Career
Herbert Wigwe started his career at Coopers & Lybrand (now PricewaterhouseCoopers), Lagos, as a management consultant. He later qualified as a chartered accountant and gained experience in corporate finance, treasury, financial control, and strategic planning.
He then joined Guaranty Trust Bank (GTBank), where he worked for over a decade in corporate and institutional banking. He rose to become the executive director in charge of institutional banking and was involved in several landmark transactions in the Nigerian banking sector.
In 2002, he and his business partner, Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede, acquired Access Bank, which was then a small commercial bank ranked 65th out of 89 banks in Nigeria. They embarked on a journey of aggressive expansion and transformation, turning Access Bank into one of the top five banks in Nigeria and one of the top 500 global banks.
He became the CEO of Access Bank in 2014, after his partner retired. Under his leadership, Access Bank implemented several initiatives to enhance operational efficiency, customer service, and corporate governance. The bank also expanded its operations across Africa and into the United Kingdom, serving over 6.5 million account-holders.
He was also the chairman of several subsidiaries of Access Bank, such as Access Bank Ghana, Access Bank UK, and Access Investment & Securities. He served on the board of the Nigerian Mortgage Refinance Company and the advisory board of Friends Africa.
He was a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria and the Institute of Credit Administration. He was recognized as the African Banker of the Year in 2021.
Herbert Wigwe Wife and Children
Herbert Wigwe was married to Chizoba Wigwe, and they had four children: Chizi, Tochi, Hannah, and David. Herbert Wigwe married Chizoba just four months after meeting her during her National Youth Service Corps program in Nigeria.
What Happened to Herbert Wigwe and his family?
Herbert Wigwe and his family were among the six victims of a helicopter crash that occurred near the California-Nevada border on February 10, 2024. Herbert Wigwe was the CEO of Access Holdings Plc, one of the largest banks in Africa. His wife, Chizoba, and his son, David, were also on board the helicopter, along with Abimbola Ogunbanjo, a former president of the Nigeria Exchange Group, and two pilots. They were reportedly on their way to Las Vegas to attend the Super Bowl.
According to the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the helicopter was a Eurocopter EC 130, which crashed around 10:12 p.m. local time near Nipton, California. The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department said that no survivors had been found as of Saturday morning. The cause of the crash is still under investigation by the FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).
Herbert Wigwe Net Worth
Herbert Wigwe’s net worth is estimated to be over $78.1 million. He earned most of his wealth as the CEO of Access Holdings Plc, one of the largest banks in Africa. He also owned a 9.9% stake in Access Bank and had other businesses that gave him extra income.