Herbert Wigwe: Celebrating Black Excellence In Banking And Entrepreneurship

by Duke Magazine

Herbert Onyewumbu Wigwe is a Nigerian banker and entrepreneur. He had his first degree in Accountancy from the University of Nigeria, before proceeding to have a MA in Banking and Finance from the University College of North Wales (now Bangor). Wigwe later bagged a MSc in Financial Economics from the University of London.

He started his career as a Management Consultant at Coopers & Lybrand, Lagos before qualifying as a Chartered Accountant. He worked with Capital Bank for a while, and moved to GTBank at where he worked for about a decade working in corporate and institutional banking. His successful years of experience at GTBank got him a leadership appointment as the Executive Director of Institutional Banking at the commercial bank.

Wigwe and his business partner, Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede rebranded Access Bank which was a small commercial bank in 2002. Going forward from that time, Wigwe who is an alumnus of Harvard Business School has successfully poised Access bank to a milestone of achievements by being among the top 5 commercial banks in Nigeria, and among the top 500 global banks according to a 2015 report by The Banker Magazine.

As one of Nigeria’s foremost corporate bankers, he has helped develop some of Africa’s biggest companies in the construction, telecommunications, energy, and oil and gas sectors through a unique model, which involves understanding and providing financial support and expertise. 

His pool of experience in the financial sector has availed him the great feat of assuming the positions of Deputy Managing Director, Chairman of Access Bank Ghana Limited, presently the Chairman of Access Bank (UK) Limited, and he is the CEO and Group Managing Director of Access Bank.

Access Bank has been able to record loads of success under the leadership of Wigwe. Access Bank received three prestigious awards at the annual Africa Banking Awards for the “Outstanding Business Sustainability” in the 2016 Karlsruhe Sustainable Finance Awards in Germany, the first-ever for an African financial institution. Consecutively, Access Bank repeated the performance at the 2017 Karlsruhe Sustainable Finance Awards in Germany by receiving the “Outstanding Business Sustainability Achievement Award”. Wigwe and Access Bank won the CEO of the Year and Bank of the Year respectively in 2016.

In the stride of humanitarian, the trio of Wigwe, Access Bank, and UNICEF have a collaboration in place to support vulnerable children, orphans, and internationally displaced persons in the northern part of Nigeria. In a bid to raise awareness for this course, the bank organizes the annual high-profile Access Bank/UNICEF Charity Shield Polo tournament.

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