Herbert Wigwe commands respect when it comes to the issues of finance and economics-related issues. At this point in his banking career, he needs not to prove critics and cynics wrong. The massive result recorded under him as the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Access bank is enough receipt for detractors to take home. After taking over Access Bank in 2014, the bank witnessed astronomic growth. Those who doubted his competence to succeed have now commended his effort in redefining and repositioning the bank to one of the strongest financial institutions in Nigeria and by extension Africa. They now fully agree that he is indeed a master in the banking business.
To further show his dexterity as a boardroom guru and a skilled business negotiator, he led one of the biggest acquisitions and bank mergers in history. Under his watch, he acquired and merged Access Bank with now-defunct Diamond Bank. Access Bank also agreed to buy Zambia’s loss-making Cavmont Bank. In January 2020, it also acquired Kenya’s Transnational Bank with its commitment to pursue more acquisitions across the continent. This, therefore, placed Access bank as one of the top 5 biggest banks in Nigeria with numerous branches littered across the country, boasting of branches in Cameroon, Zambia, and Kenya.
Starting the year 2021 on a good note, the Accounting graduate from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, remained outstanding in his dealings as he again led Access bank to another acquisition history becoming Nigeria’s biggest lender with a controlling stake in South Africa’s Grobank for around $60 million. With the acquisition, Access Bank has become the first Nigerian lender to venture in to South Africa. Access bank took on both equity and debt in the South African bank, part of a regional expansion to tap into correspondent and trade banking deals on the continent. The latest deal brings its African presence to nine countries. With more than $16 billion of assets and a focus on corporate and retail banking, Wigwe is restructuring its Nigerian business into a holding company.