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Herbert Onyewumbu Wigwe could be referred to as one of most effective Nigerian entrepreneurs in the banking sector.

He was the CEO of Access Holdings Plc, traded as Access Corporation until he reportedly died in a chopper clash in the United States on February 10, 2024.

Herbert was the Group Managing Director/CEO of Access Bank plc, one of Nigeria’s top five banking institutions, after succeeding his business partner, Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede in January 2014 till April 2022.

He was married to Chizoba Wigwe (née Nwuba) and had 4 children: Chizi, Tochi, Hannah and David.

Herbert Wigwe hailed from Ikwerre Local Government Area of Rivers State, but lived and worked in Lagos.

In January 2015, Nigerian newspaper The Punch described him as “one of Nigeria’s stylish top executives”.


Report has it that he had speaking engagements across the world including most recently at Silicon Valley and Financial Times summit in Mozambique. In 2016, Wigwe founded The HOW Foundation, a non-profit organization

In October 2022, a Nigerian national honour of Commander of the Order of the Niger (CON) was conferred on him by President Muhammadu Buhari


Wigwe was named 2016 Banker of The Year separately by The Sun and Vanguard newspapers, two of Nigeria’s biggest newspapers.

In 2002, Wigwe and his business partner, Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede bought into what was then a small commercial bank, Access Bank – at the time, the 65th largest of the 89 banks in the country


Access Bank is now one of the top five banks in Nigeria and ranked among the top 500 global banks according to a 2015 report by The Banker magazine and is aiming to be Africa’s top bank. It currently serves over 6.5 million account-holders, through 350 branches and with more than 1,500 ATMs in major centres across Nigeria, Sub-Saharan Africa and the UK.[4]

Wigwe also served as the Chairman of Access Bank Ghana Limited, Access Investment & Securities Limited, Central Securities and Clearing System (CSCS) and is the current Chairman of Access Bank (UK) Limited.

Herbert Wigwe is a board member of Nigerian Mortgage Refinance Company and a member of the advisory Board for Friends Africa. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria

He started his professional career with Coopers & Lybrand Associates, an international firm of Chartered Accountants.


He spent over 10 years at Guaranty Trust Bank Plc where he managed several portfolios, including financial institutions, large corporates and multinationals.

He left Guaranty Trust Bank as an Executive Director to co-lead the transformation of Access Bank Plc in March 2002 as Deputy Managing Director.


Herbert Wigwe was appointed Group Managing Director/CEO effective January 1, 2014 and served in that capacity till May 2022.

He was subsequently appointed a Non-Executive Director of the Bank effective May 2022.

Lennox Mall

Wigwe is also  an alumnus of the Harvard Business School Executive Management Programme. He holds a master’s degree in Banking and International Finance from the University College of North Wales, a master’s degree in Financial Economics from the University of London and a B.Sc. degree in Accounting from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka.

Career /Professional Trajectory of Mr Hebert

May 2022-Date Non-Executive Director, Access Bank Plc – June 2007


Fellow, The Institute of Credit Administration Effective – May 2022

Member-Board Human Resources and Sustainability Committee January 2014-May 2022


Group Managing Director Access Bank Plc – effective 2008

Chairman, Access Bank UK – November 2004

Honorary Member of Chartered Institute of Bankers Nigeria

Member-Board Credit Committee – March 2002-December 2013


Group Deputy Managing Director, Access Bank Plc – May 2001

Fellow, Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (FCA)

Member-Board Risk Management Committee – December 1999-February 2002

Executive Director, GTB – September 1996

MSC Financial Economics, University of London

Member-Board Digital and Information Technology Committee – May 1999 – Dec., 1999

Group Head – Institutional Banking Group (Deputy General Manager), GTB – October 1, 1990 – Sept 1991

M.A. Banking and Finance, University College of North Wales

Member-Board Technical Committee on Retail Expansion – May 1996 – May 1998

Group Head: Energy Group (Assistant General 

Group Head: Energy Group (Assistant General Manager), GTB – October 1989

Associate of Chartered Institute of Accountants of Nigeria (ACA) – November 1991 – May 1996

Corporate Bank (Deputy Manager -Manager) GTB  – September 1983 – June 1987

B.Sc. Accountancy (2nd Class Upper Division) – University of Nigeria Nsukka, Enugu Campus – Sept 1989 – Sept 1990

Credit Analyst, Kapital Merchant Bank, Lagos – July 1988 – Sept 1989

Audit Trainee- Coopers and Lybrand – Chartered Accountants – Sept 1987 – July 1988

Graduate Assistant, Coopers and Lybrand Associates Limited, Lagos.

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