Herbert Wigwe - Herbert Wigwe: The Trailblazer of Nigerian Banking - 11/Feb/2024

Herbert Wigwe – Herbert Wigwe: The Trailblazer of Nigerian Banking – 11/Feb/2024

Herbert Wigwe: The Trailblazer of Nigerian Banking

As of my last update in 2023, Herbert Wigwe has cemented his place as a leading figure in the Nigerian banking sector. With a career that spans across several decades, Wigwe has become known for his strategic acumen, innovative banking solutions, and his influential role in transforming Access Bank into one of Africa’s foremost financial institutions.

Early Life and Education of Herbert Wigwe

Herbert Onyewumbu Wigwe’s journey began with his education, where he laid the groundwork for his future achievements. Born in Nigeria, he took his first academic steps at the Federal Government College in Sokoto. He later pursued a degree in Accountancy at the University of Nigeria, evidencing an early aptitude for numbers and finance.

Wigwe continued his education abroad, enrolling in graduate courses that revealed a dedication to excellence and a global outlook. His Master’s degree in Banking and International Finance from the University College of North Wales (now Bangor University) provided him with a robust foundation in financial expertise. This was further solidified by advanced courses in Financial Instruments and Capital Markets at the London School of Economics. Wigwe’s commitment to continuous learning is reflected in his additional qualification as a Chartered Accountant.

Career Beginnings and Rise to Prominence

Herbert Wigwe’s professional ascent started at Coopers & Lybrand Associates Limited, offering international business exposure and foundational experiences. His ambition and competence propelled him to key roles within the financial industry, most notably at Guaranty Trust Bank where he honed his leadership skills.

It was at Access Bank PLC, however, that Wigwe truly became a household name in African banking. Beginning his tenure as Deputy Managing Director, he worked closely with then-CEO Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede. Together, they embarked on a mission to transform Access Bank into a formidable entity.

Strategic Vision at Access Bank

Under Herbert Wigwe’s stewardship, Access Bank experienced unprecedented growth, articulating a vision of influential leadership within African banking sectors. Driven by progressive thinking and strategic acquisitions, Wigwe’s management playbook focused not only on expansion but also on innovation and sustainability initiatives that defined the bank’s competitive edge.

He played a pivotal part in numerous mergers and acquisitions, such as the merger with Diamond Bank in 2019 which bolstered Access Bank’s status across various metrics: increased customer base, expanded network outreach, and solidified market capitalization. This all stood testament to Wigwe’s acumen in balancing rigorous financial frameworks with visionary growth strategies.

Legacy and Innovations

Throughout his tenure at Access Bank, Herbert Wigwe has kept an eye toward legacy—a work ethic coupled with moral integrity and societal impact. Not content with pure financial success, he has committed both himself and Access Bank to an array of laudable corporate social responsibilities (CSR) projects. From environmental causes to education and health initiatives, Wigwe’s approach mirrored a nuanced understanding of business as a beacon for widespread societal transformation.

Moreover, Wigwegas proved to be a technophile, spearheading digital banking innovations serving to streamline customer experience and expand the bank’s outreach efforts via tech-driven solutions. Such initiatives further cemented the bank’s reputation as a leader on the African continent.

Awards and Accolades

Herbert Wigwe’s industry leadership has not gone unrecognized. His mantle holds numerous accolades that reflect his service to the banking sector and his distinguished career: ‘African Banker of the Year,’ ‘Banker of the Year,’ and multiple other commendations pertinent to sustainability and innovation underscore his high standing among peers.


  • Herbert Wigwe was awarded “African Banker of the Year” at the 2021 African Banker Awards.
  • Under his direction, Access Bank merged with Diamond Bank in 2019, greatly expanding its influence.
  • He has led extensive CSR projects positively affecting sectors like education, health care, and environmental sustainability.
  • Wigwe continuously emphasizes technological adaptation as central to accessing comprehensive banking services.
  • Image Description

    An image displaying Herbert Wigwe in formal attire positioned against the backdrop of an Access Bank office setting would symbolize his professionalism and status within the financial industry. The background would faintly show glimpses of digital screens displaying financial data reflecting technological innovations championed under his leadership.