Access Holdings has confirmed the death of its Chief Executive Officer, Herbert Wigwe in a helicopter accident in the United States. Wigwe, the driving force behind Nigeria’s Access Bank for over 20 years, died with his wife and son last Friday.
According to a statement by Access Group, Wigwe’s helicopter went down Feb. 9th near the California-Nevada border. The party appeared to be heading to Las Vegas, likely for the Super Bowl.
Access Board Chairman, Abubakar Jimoh mourned the loss of the “great friend and fine gentleman.” He lauded Wigwe’s “prodigious intellect, admirable qualities and vast business experience” which transformed Access Bank under his leadership.
Authorities including the National Transportation Safety Board continue investigating the crash of the Eurocopter EC 130 en route from Palm Springs to Boulder City. But Wigwe’s sudden death plunges Access Holdings into grief and uncertainty.
Jimoh assured stakeholders that the Board will swiftly name an Acting Group CEO to build on Wigwe’s “legacy of growth.” But filling the void left by the energetic driving force and “larger than life personality” will be no easy task.
Meanwhile, the Bank has also announced its intention to appoint an Acting Group Chief Executive according to the company’s policy
“In line with the Company’s policy, the Board will soon announce the appointment of an Acting Group Chief Executive Officer even as we remain confident that the Access Group will build further on Or Wigwe’s legacy of growth and operational excellence” the statement reads
The Access family has suffered an immense loss. And Nigeria has lost one of its most daring entrepreneurs just as his ventures appeared set to reach even greater heights.
Herbert Wigwe, who joined the bank in 2002 and led its rise into a financial powerhouse, was a visionary and an asset to Nigeria’s financial arm