Herbert Wigwe Net Worth: The Nigerian Banker Who Left a Legacy

Herbert Wigwe, a distinguished Nigerian banker and entrepreneur, met a tragic end in a helicopter crash on February 9, 2024. As the CEO of Access Holdings Plc, a leading banking group in Africa, he commanded a net worth of approximately $65.2 million. This post delves into his life, career, accomplishments, and influence on the Nigerian banking landscape and beyond.

Early Life and Education

Born on August 15, 1966, in Isiokpo, Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Herbert Onyewumbu Wigwe hailed from an Ikwerre background and grew up alongside three sisters and one brother. He pursued his education at the University of Nigeria, earning a degree in accountancy in 1987, followed by a master’s degree in banking and finance from the same institution.

Throughout his academic journey, he garnered various professional accolades from prestigious institutions worldwide, including the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria, the London Business School, Harvard Business School, and the Wharton Business School.

Banking Career and Leadership

Wigwe embarked on his banking career in 1989 as a management consultant at Coopers and Lybrand Associates. Subsequently, he joined Guaranty Trust Bank, where he ascended to the role of executive director. In 2002, he co-founded Access Bank Plc with Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede, a former colleague. Serving as the deputy managing director, Wigwe played a pivotal role in elevating Access Bank from a local entity to a premier African financial institution. In 2014, he assumed the position of group managing director and CEO, succeeding Aig-Imoukhuede.

Under his stewardship, Access Bank significantly expanded its footprint across Africa and globally through strategic acquisitions and initiatives. Notable endeavors included the merger with Diamond Bank in 2019, the launch of the Womenpreneur Pitch-a-ton Africa program in 2020, and the establishment of the Africa Fintech Foundry in 2021. His accomplishments garnered widespread recognition, earning him accolades such as African Banker of the Year (2016), BusinessDay CEO of the Year (2017), and Forbes Best of Africa Award (2020).

Philanthropy and Social Impact

Beyond his banking prowess, Wigwe demonstrated a commitment to philanthropy and social causes. He established the Herbert Wigwe Foundation, dedicated to advancing education and healthcare in Nigeria. Additionally, he supported various initiatives including the Slum2School project, the Nigerian Economic Summit Group, and the United Nations Global Compact. Passionate about empowerment, he advocated for women, youth, financial inclusion, and environmental sustainability.

Family and Personal Life

Herbert Wigwe shared his life with Chizoba Wigwe, a lawyer and entrepreneur, and their four children: Chizi, Tochi, Hannah, and David. A devout Christian, Wigwe found joy in music, sports, and leisure activities like golf and chess. He was an avid supporter of Arsenal Football Club, known for his integrity, humility, and charisma. As a mentor and role model, particularly within the banking sector, he touched the lives of many with his exemplary character and leadership.

Conclusion

Herbert Wigwe’s legacy as a visionary leader, astute banker, and compassionate philanthropist transcends borders. His contributions have left an indelible mark on the Nigerian banking industry and the broader African community. While his untimely passing is mourned by family, friends, colleagues, and admirers alike, his impact endures, shaping a brighter future for generations to come. May his soul rest in peace.

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