Creating opportunities and identifying challenges – Herbert Wigwe

Dr. Herbert Onyewumbu Wigwe was born in August 1966 in Lagos Nigeria, he was born into a modest family and soon found his calling to change his native Nigeria through business and philanthropy.

Dr. Wigwe is a family man who maintains a close relationship with his extended family and his marriage with Chizoba Wigwe is blessed with four children; Chizi, Tochi, Hannah and David.

The 50 year old Dr. Wigwe received a string of awards and recognitions this passing year, mainly for his unwavering work on building up a sustainable and strong financial infrastructure through banking in Nigeria. He is without doubt one of Nigeria’s leading bankers. He is the CEO and Group Managing Director of Access Bank, now one of Nigeria’s top banking institutions. His passion for philanthropy is another story but sufficient to say that he affects the life of the youth of Nigeria, through the HOW foundation with efforts such as “Be all you can be” and with the Boy’s Brigade in his home city of Lagos.

Dr. Wigwe has said that “Sometimes in life, you have to create the opportunities for yourself, you need to identify the challenges others are avoiding“. Its precisely this ability to identify the challenges that others avoid that sets Wigwe apart from his peers, that along with his drive to better his country and Africa as a whole.

Along with his team, Dr. Wigwe set a five-year goal to build up Access Bank to become a respected African Bank, the plan seems to have bore fruits in 2016, judging from the number of awards and recognition the bank’s team and Dr. Wigwe personally received.

During his acceptance speech when receiving the Euromoney 2016 awards for excellence in the category of Best Transformation Awards, “Africa’s Best Bank Transformation” Dr. Wigwe pointed out the success of the five-year strategy. The award ceremony was held in July at the Tower of London in the UK and attended by over 500 CEOs’ and senior executives of winning institutions.

In April he was voted the “2017 Most Reputable Nigerian Bank CEO” in the survey of Reputation Management Agency, Reputation Poll. The results found Dr Wigwe leading the poll, outshining the competition from nineteen CEOs of commercial banks in Nigeria.

Access bank was the first African bank to receive the well-respected Karlsruhe Sustainable Finance Awards in July last year. Access Bank emerged as the over all winner of the 2016 “Outstanding Business Sustainability Achievement Award”. Giving recognition to the economical, social and environmental aspects in the banks strategy and business processes.

Further noteworthy awards revived by Dr. Wigwe and his team at Access Bank were “Best Bank CEO” award to Wigwe and the “Best Bank of the year” went to Access Bank at the 2016 Business Day Banking Award held in September in Victoria Island in Lagos.

At the 2016 African Banking Awards Access Bank also received three recognitions; “Best Bank in Nigeria” – EMEA Finance, “Corporate Social Responsibility” (Pan-African) – EMEA Finance and “CEO of the year” (Pan-African) – EMEA Finance and Access bank was furthermore elected “Bank of the Year” at an annual event of the Banker Magazine (Financial Times of London) and to top it of Access Bank Ghana became the first Nigerian Bank to be listed in the Ghana Stock Exchange (GSE).