Confirming the death of its CEO, Access Holdings Plc offers condolences.1


“Access Holdings Plc Mourns the Loss of CEO, Honors His Legacy”

Access Holdings Plc has confirmed the passing of Dr. Herbert Wigwe, the Company’s founding Group Chief Executive Officer and former Group Managing Director of its flagship subsidiary, Access Bank Plc.

Dr Wigwe died alongside his wife and son on Friday, February 9, 2024, in a helicopter accident in the United States of America.

In a statement issued on Sunday, February 11, the Group noted that “The entire Access Family mourns the loss of Herbert, Doreen and Chizi. We extend our deep and sincere sympathies to his family and loved ones. Dr. Wigwe was a key driving force and a larger-than-life personality who brought his remarkable passion, energy and experience to the transformation of the Access franchise since joining the Bank in 2002.”CEO

Commenting on the passage of Dr. Wigwe, Mr. Abubakar Jimoh, Chairman of Access Holdings, said: “The Access Family has suffered a major loss with the passing of Dr. Wigwe who was a great friend and fine gentleman. He had a prodigious intellect, admirable personal qualities, and vast business experience which he brought to bear on the Access Family and for which we owe him a debt of gratitude.”

“We remain confident that the Access Group will build further on Dr. Wigwe’s legacy of growth and operational excellence.”

Dr. Wigwe was instrumental in the growth of Access Bank, which he co-founded with his friend and business partner Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede.

He took over as Access Bank Group CEO in 2014, focusing on the Bank’s expansion in Nigeria and Africa before taking the helm at Access Holdings in 2022.

Under his leadership, Access Bank drove its African strategy to become Sub Saharan Africa’s largest retail bank by customer base.

Country Managing Director for Access Bank Ghana, Mr. Olumide Olatunji said; “We are deeply saddened by the demise of Dr. Herbert Wigwe, who was a man of many colours because of the exceptional impact he had on growth of the banking industry and communities we serve. As our first Board Chairman and a pan-Africanist, Dr. Wigwe was pivotal in nurturing and making the Access Bank franchise relevant in Ghana as a key development partner. His legacy will never be forgotten”.

Dr. Wigwe was a member of the Access Bank UK board as well as the board of the Nigerian Business Coalition Against AIDS (NiBUCAA). He has long been an advocate for the eradication of malaria in Africa, working with the Corporate Alliance on Malaria to support this objective. He also sat on the board of the Nigerian Mortgage Refinance Company and Friends Africa and was an honorary member of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria and a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria and Institute of Credit Administration.

Dr. Wigwe was an ardent supporter of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, which serve as the cornerstone of Access Holdings’ growth strategy. He was a two-time winner of the African Banker of the Year award from the African Banker Awards. CEO

His educational background includes an MSc in Financial Economics from the University of London, an MA in Banking and Finance from the University College of North Wales (now Bangor University), and an Accounting degree from the University of Nigeria. The Harvard Business School Executive Management Program was also finished by him. CEO

In order to provide top-notch education and develop the next generation of fearless leaders, Dr. Wigwe recently established Wigwe University, Africa’s first Ivy League school.


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