Access Bank has confirmed the death of its Group Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Herbert Wigwe.
Mr. Wigwe, was killed in a helicopter crash in the United States of America, on Friday, February 9, 2024, evening.
He was among six people including the wife and son when the helicopter crashed.
“With a heavy heart, we announce the passing of Dr. Herbert Wigwe” a statement from the bank said.
“Herbert’s visionary leadership and unwavering commitment to social impact initiatives have left an indelible mark on Access Holdings and the communities we serve. His legacy will never be forgotten”, the statement added.
After the crash, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration announced that it has launched a probe into the crash with the National Transportation Safety Board.
According to reports, Mr Wigwe was travelling with other family members of Chris Ogunbanjo in a Eurocopter EC 130 chopper when it crashed around 10:00 p.m. Friday near Nipton, California.
The crash was said to have occurred about 60 miles from Las Vegas, where the victims were reportedly travelling to see the Super Bowl on Sunday in a march between Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers.
Profile of Herbert Wigwe
Mr Wigwe, 57, was a co-founder of Access Bank, beginning in 2002, after spending years at professional services firm, Cooper & Lybrand, now PwC.
After Cooper & Lybrand, the Chartered Accountant had a stint at Capital Bank, before joining GTBank where he spent over a decade working in corporate and institutional banking, rising to become the executive director in charge of institutional banking.
In 2002, Mr. Wigwe and his business partner, Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede bought into what was then a small commercial bank, Access Bank – at the time, the 65th largest of the 89 banks in the country.
Access Bank is now one of the top five banks in Nigeria and ranked among the top 500 global banks according to a 2015 report by The Banker magazine. It currently serves over 6.5 million account-holders, through 350 branches and with more than 1,500 ATMs in major centres across Nigeria, Sub-Saharan Africa and the UK.