There are many fictional stories about Herbert Wigwe, the Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Access Bank, but his true life story is a must-read for anyone interested in Nigeria and Africa’s banking industry.
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Born 49-year ago, Wigwe’s impressive pedigree is known to industry watchers, just as his humble lifestyle is not strange to those who are familiar with him.
With his 50th birthday just around the corner, precisely August 15, Wigwe is one business leader, whose deftness and ingenuity are legendary but does not like the spotlight.
Despite being media shy, he was once described by Punch Newspaper as “one of Nigeria’s stylish top executives.” He and Access Bank under his leadership since over a decade, has been receiving recognition or praise for good reasons.
Under Wigwe’s watch, Access Bank has risen to become one of the “top five banks in Nigeria” and “ranked among the top 500 global banks in the world”, according to a-2015 The Banker Magazine report.
In just two years of leading a pack of industry-defining banking professionals inspired to consistently create shareholders value, Herbert Wigwe’s visionary leadership has cemented the exemplary strides of the former Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede.
In the first quarter of 2016, Access Bank recorded a profit rise of 42percent, a feat Wigwe, a team-player, owed to the bank’s ‘ever-trusting shareholders, formidable board of directors and employees’.
The Harvard alumnus, a stickler for best practices and using industry standards to produce awesome and robust results, recently received the award for Outstanding Business Sustainability at the 2016 Karlsruhe Sustainable Finance Award in Germany on behalf of the bank for holistically embedding sustainability across its operations.
He said at the occasion: “Access Bank operations and activities at this time is a reflection of the vision of its founding fathers. Like my predecessor, I have a duty to steer the affairs of this bank in a manner that promotes societal good and interest. Our business model encourages us to become that catalyst for the change Africa seeks.”
The bank has continued to attract international commendations and awards. Among them is the 2016 ‘Africa’s Best Bank Transformation’ in the Euromoney 2016 Awards for Excellence.
Personally, Herbert Wigwe is giving back to the society through his personal foundation, HOW Foundation. Recently he conducted malaria test on and donated mosquito nets to 1,000 people in Otuokpo, River State.
One of Herbert Wigwe’s How Foundation’s aims is to give a new lease of life to orphaned and vulnerable children in the society.