Access the bank announced the death of Herbert Wigwe, the company’s founding group CEO, alongside his wife, son and three other passengers, including Chairman of the Nigerian Stock Exchange Abimbola Ogunbanjo, in a plane crash.
The company also said the board would soon announce the appointment of an interim group CEO who is expected to build on the company’s “legacy of growth and operational excellence”.
“The Access family has suffered a significant loss with the passing of Dr Wigwe, who was a great friend and gentleman. He had prodigious intelligence, admirable personal qualities and extensive business experience which he brought to the service of the Access family and for which we owe him a debt of gratitude,” said Abubakar Jimoh, Chairman of Access Holdings in a statement.
The helicopter carrying Wigwe and the other passengers was identified as a Eurocopter EC130 by the United States. Federal Aviation Administration.
The plane was headed to Las Vegas when it crashed Friday evening near a Nevada-California border town, according to reports.
The 57-year-old CEO played a key role in transforming Access Bank into a holding company and Nigeria’s largest bank by total assets. The bank is also one of the largest retail banks in sub-Saharan Africa, with more than 60 million customers across 20 countries.
Apart from banking, Herbert Wigwe has also been involved in education, his latest project being a university named after him located in Rivers State.