Herbert Wigwe Biography: Net Worth, Age, Wife, Family, Children, Parents, Siblings, Cause Of Death

Posted By George Oboh March 8, 2024


Herbert Onyewumbu Wigwe (born 15 August 1966 – 9 February 2024) was a Nigerian leading banker and entrepreneur. 

He was the Chief Executive Officer and Group Managing Director of Access Bank Plc, one of Nigeria’s top five banking institutions. 

Herbert Wigwe and his partner, Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede, bought Access Bank in 2002 and grew it to the largest bank in Nigeria. He was one of the wealthiest bankers in the African continent.

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Herbert Wigwe: History ‧ Bio ‧ Photo
Wiki Facts & About Data
Full Name: Herbert Onyewumbu Wigwe
Stage Name: Herbert Wigwe
Born: 15 August 1966 (age 57 years old)
Died: 9 February 2024 (age 57 years), California, United States
Place of Birth: Isiokpo, Ikwerre, Rivers State, Nigeria
State Of Origin: Rivers State
Nationality: Nigerian
Education: University of Nigeria Nsukka, Bangor University, University of London
Height: 1.67 m
Parents: Shyngle Wigwe
Siblings: Joyce Wigwe, Peggy Wigwe, and Stella Wigwe, Emeka Wigwe
Spouse: Chizoba Wigwe (m. ?–2024)
Girlfriend • Partner: N/A
Children: Chizi Wigwe, Hannah Wigwe, Tochi Wigwe, David Wigwe
Occupation: Banker • Businessman
Net Worth: $65 million-$70 million (USD)

Early Life

Herbert Wigwe was born to the family of Pastor and Mrs Shyngle Wigwe on August 15, 1966. He was born in a private hospital in Lagos Island, Lagos State. However, he is of South-South descent because he is originally from Rivers State. 

The Wigwe family traces its ancestry to Isiokpo, Rivers State. Nevertheless, Herbert Wigwe spent his formative years growing up in Ibadan city alongside his parents and siblings. The Wigwe family moved to Ibadan due to his father’s career. He was blessed with three sisters, Joyce WigwePeggy Wigwe, and Stella Wigwe, and one brother, Emeka Wigwe.

Herbert Wigwe‘s upbringing was upper-middle-class. His father, Pastor Shyngle Wigwe, used to work in the Federal Civil Service and once held the position of Director-General of the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA), while his mother worked as a nurse. 

During Christmas, the Wigwe family often traveled to River State to spend the holiday with their kindred at Isiokpo. Herbert grew up with four siblings and has a close bond with each one.


Herbert Wigwe underwent his elementary and secondary education at top schools in the Southwest region of Nigeria. After securing good grades in his O’Levels, he pursued higher education at a Nigerian University. 

Ever since he was in high school, Herbert had developed a keen interest in the financial sector. This was why he was motivated to study accountancy at the university level. 

In the 1980s, he gained admission into the Southeast Premier institution, the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN). After a four-year academic program, he bagged a bachelor’s degree in accounting in 1987.

After completing his first degree, Herbert Wigwe desired to further his studies at the postgraduate level. In 1990, he won the coveted British Council Scholarship to study at the University College of North Wales (now Bangor University). He bagged a Master of Arts in Banking and Finance in 1991. 

Later, he studied for another Master’s degree, earning an MSc in financial economics from the University of London in 1996. He is an alumnus of the Harvard Business School Executive Management Program. In 2018, Herbert received an honorary doctorate from his alma mater, the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN).


Herbert Wigwe kicked off his career as a management consultant at Coopers & Lybrand in the late 1980s and became a chartered accountant in 1989. He resigned from the organization in 1990 to further his studies abroad. Upon completing his master’s degree and subsequent return to Nigeria, Herbert joined Guaranty Trust Bank (GTB) and would go on to work in the organization for over a decade. By 1998, he had been promoted to Executive Director of the bank. 

In 2002, Herbert and his business partner, Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede, bought Access Bank. The duo had been long-time friends and were colleagues at GTB. The purchase of the bank was initially delayed by the Central Bank of Nigeria because the latter was worried that the pair were too young to own a bank. However, Herbert and his partner, Aig, soon proved skeptics wrong when they grew Access Bank to the fourth largest bank in Nigeria by 2017. This astronomical growth shook the Nigerian financial community. 

Herbert Wigwe served as the Deputy Managing Director of Access Bank from 2002 to 2014, while his partner, Aig, was the Managing Director/CEO of the bank. In 2014, Herbert took over from Aig to become the Managing Director of Access Bank Plc. Before this position, he had begun serving as the chairman of Access Bank Ghana Limited starting in 2013.

In 2018, Herbert made history when Access Bank merged with Diamond Bank, making it the largest bank in Nigeria. Herbert planned to expand the bank into Asia; however, he was unable to achieve this dream before his untimely demise in February 2024. At his death, Herbert was the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Group Managing Director (GMD) of Access Bank. 

In 2016, Herbert Wigwe founded The HOW Foundation, a non-profit organization focused on supporting vulnerable children, orphans, and internally displaced persons in the northern region of Nigeria. Herbert is also the founder and chancellor of Wigwe University, a private university located in Isiokpo, Rivers State. He established the university in his hometown as a way of giving back to society. The university was set to open in September 2024.

Awards & Nominations

In 2016, Herbert Wigwe was named 

“Banker of The Year” by The Sun and Vanguard, two leading Nigerian newspapers. That same year, the Boys Brigade inaugurated Wigwe as the State Patron for the Lagos State Council. 

In 2022, President Muhammadu Buhari conferred on him the national honor of Commander of the Order of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. 

Personal Life

In 1994, Herbert Wigwe got married to Doreen Chizoba Nwuba, and she became known as Chizoba Wigwe. The couple had their first child, Chizi Wigwe, in January 1995. The union had three other children – Tochi WigweDavid Wigwe, and Hannah WigweHerbert was famously known by the nickname “Oracle of Isiokpo.” He was a Pentecostal Christian and attended The Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), City of David Parish in Lagos State.

In 2023, Herbert moved into an architectural masterpiece in Ikoyi, Lagos State. The magnificent residence had cost the successful banker billions of naira. He and his family lived in the house until his demise. 

Cause Of Death

On the 9th of February 2024, Herbert Wigwe died in a helicopter crash. He was among the six people aboard the Eurocopter EC130 who died in the crash, which occurred near Nipton, California. The crash also led to the death of his wife, Doreen Chizoba Wigwe, his son, Chizi Wigwe, his friend and former Nigerian Exchange Group Plc Chairman Abimbola Ogunbanjo, and two crew members. 

The passengers were on a charter flight operated by Orbic Air from Palm Springs International Airport to Boulder City, Nevada. They planned to attend the National Football League (NFL) championship game, Sunday’s Super Bowl LVIII, in Las Vegas. At the time of his death, Herbert Wigwe was 57 years old. 

Herbert Wigwe is survived by his three children, four siblings, and aged parents. 

Net Worth

Herbert Wigwe is one of the richest professionals in the banking industry, having amassed his wealth from the growth of Access Bank. 

At the time of Herbert‘s death, he was estimated to be worth $65 million – $70 million (USD).

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