Herbert Onyewumbu Wigwe, born on August 15, 1966, was more than just a prominent Nigerian banker and entrepreneur; he was a visionary leader whose impact reverberated throughout the country’s banking sector.

As the group managing director and CEO of Access Bank Plc, one of Nigeria’s foremost financial institutions, Wigwe was pivotal in steering the bank towards unprecedented growth and success.

During his tenure at Access Bank, Wigwe’s leadership was characterized by innovation, strategic foresight, and an unwavering commitment to excellence.

Under his guidance, the bank underwent remarkable expansion and consolidation, cementing its position as a powerhouse in Nigeria’s banking industry.

However, tragedy struck on February 9, 2024, when a helicopter carrying Wigwe crashed in the United States, abruptly ending his life.

The news of his untimely demise sent shockwaves throughout the Nigerian business community, leaving colleagues, friends, and admirers reeling from the loss of a visionary leader and mentor.

Despite the profound grief and sorrow that accompanied his passing, Herbert Onyewumbu Wigwe’s legacy inspires and influences countless individuals in Nigeria and beyond.

Full Name: Herbert Onyewumbu Wigwe
Stage Name: Herbert Wigwe
Born: 15 August 1966 (age 57 years old)
Died: 9 February 2024 (age 57 years), California, United States
Place of Birth: Isiokpo, Ikwerre, Rivers State, Nigeria
State Of Origin: Rivers State
Nationality: Nigerian
Education: University of Nigeria Nsukka, Bangor University, University of London
Height: 1.67 m
Parents: Shyngle Wigwe
Siblings: Joyce Wigwe, Peggy Wigwe, and Stella Wigwe, Emeka Wigwe
Spouse: Chizoba Wigwe (m. ?–2024)
Girlfriend • Partner: N/A
Children: Chizi Wigwe, Hannah Wigwe, Tochi Wigwe, David Wigwe
Occupation: Banker • Businessman
Net Worth: $65.2 million

Early Life & Education

Herbert Onyewumbu Wigwe, known for his indelible mark on Nigeria’s banking sector, was born on August 15, 1966, in Isiokpo, Rivers State, Nigeria.

Raised in a family where excellence and service were paramount, his upbringing instilled in him a sense of duty and ambition.

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Wigwe’s journey in academia commenced with a Bachelor’s degree in Accountancy from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, in 1987.

Fueling his thirst for knowledge, he pursued a Master of Arts in Banking and Finance at the University College of North Wales, Bangor University, courtesy of a British Council scholarship.

Continuing his academic pursuits, he earned a Master of Science in Financial Economics from the University of London in 1996.

His commitment to lifelong learning led him to attend the prestigious Harvard Business School Executive Management Program, further enriching his knowledge and expertise in finance.

Herbert Wigwe: Education, Awards, Net Worth, Wife, Family, Children, Death, State of Origin

Career

Wigwe’s illustrious career began in the late 1980s as a management consultant at Coopers & Lybrand, where he distinguished himself as a chartered accountant.

His tenure at Guaranty Trust Bank (GTB) saw him rise through the ranks, culminating in his appointment as an executive director.

In 2002, alongside Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede, he acquired Access Bank, embarking on a journey to reshape Nigeria’s banking landscape.

Despite initial skepticism from regulators, Access Bank flourished under their leadership, becoming one of Nigeria’s top financial institutions.

Throughout his tenure at Access Bank, Wigwe held pivotal roles, including deputy managing director and chairman of Access Bank Ghana Limited.

As CEO and group managing director from 2014 until his passing, he spearheaded Access Bank’s merger with Diamond Bank in 2018, solidifying its position as Nigeria’s largest bank.

Wigwe’s visionary leadership and strategic insight propelled Access Bank to heights, earning him accolades such as Banker of The Year and the prestigious Commander of the Order of the Federal Republic.

Herbert Wigwe: Education, Awards, Net Worth, Wife, Family, Children, Death, State of Origin

Personal Life

Herbert Wigwe shared his life with his beloved wife, Doreen Chizoba Wigwe, and their four children.

Their family bond was tragically severed on February 9, 2024, when a helicopter carrying them crashed near Nipton, California, en route to the Super Bowl LVIII.

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The sudden loss of Herbert, Doreen, and their son, Chizi, sent shockwaves through Nigeria and beyond, leaving behind a void that could never be filled.

Awards & Recognitions

Wigwe’s contributions to banking and society garnered widespread recognition.

● He was honored as Banker of The Year by The Sun and Vanguard newspapers in 2016.
● Additionally, the Boys’ Brigade appointed him as the State Patron for the Lagos State Council in recognition of his dedication to youth development.
● His remarkable achievements culminated in the conferment of the Commander of the Order of the Federal Republic by President Muhammadu Buhari in 2022.

Death

On February 9, 2024, a devastating incident occurred as a Eurocopter EC130, carrying six passengers, including Herbert Onyewumbu Wigwe, crashed near Nipton, California.

Among the tragic victims were Wigwe’s wife, Doreen Chizoba Wigwe, and his son, Chizi Wigwe, born in January 1995.

Also lost in the accident were former Nigerian Exchange Group Plc Chairman Abimbola Ogunbanjo and two crew members.

The passengers were on their way from Palm Springs International Airport to Boulder City, Nevada, aboard a charter flight operated by Orbic Air.

Their destination was Las Vegas, where they planned to attend the National Football League championship game, Super Bowl LVIII, scheduled for that Sunday.

Herbert Wigwe: Education, Awards, Net Worth, Wife, Family, Children, Death, State of Origin

Social Media

Wigwe maintained a modest presence on social media platforms, using them primarily for professional purposes and engaging with stakeholders in the banking sector.

Net Worth

Herbert Wigwe’s financial success mirrored his achievements in the banking sector.

He ranked among Africa’s wealthiest bankers with an estimated net worth of $65.2 million.

His wealth was a testament to his strategic investments and contributions to Nigeria’s economic growth and development.

Herbert Onyewumbu Wigwe’s legacy is a beacon of inspiration and excellence in Nigeria’s banking industry.

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