Having successfully piloted the affairs of Access Bank Plc for 11 and a half years, Managing Director and Chief Executive, Mr. Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede, has announced his retirement from the bank effective December 31, this year.
Aig-Imoukhuede revealed his retirement plan Wednesday while presenting the bank’s five-year corporate strategy to investors and stakeholders on the floor of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE).
He confirmed that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has approved the appointment of the bank’s Deputy Managing Director, Mr Herbert Wigwe, as his successor.
Stating that he felt fulfilled, he said it was time he left the stage having fulfilled all the promises he made to investors and stakeholders when his team took over the management of the bank in 2002.
According to him, during his stewardship, the bank grew from just 10,000 customers to about 6.5 million and moved from 65th position to become the fourth largest bank in the country.
“In 2002, we believed in the robustness of our plan to be among the top 10 banks in Nigeria in five years. That we have since achieved along with rewarding our investors with a return of over 4,000 per cent.
“Today, we are among the first four banks in the country; we have the highest upside valuation than any bank in Nigeria.
“But also key is that amongst this growth story, we have executed mergers and acquisitions in an outstanding fashion. Be it in Nigeria, where we have won awards for the speed with which we have concluded the transactions, and the value that accreted to our investors.
“Also, we are one of the 10 most capitalised stocks on the NSE and we are also listed on the London Stock Exchange (LSE),” he said.
Access Bank, he added, had set a standard for CEO succession, a development he stated was unfolding, natural and strong.
“I do not know of any CEO succession of a Nigerian bank where you have a regulatory approval almost a year in advance of the process. All of this sends a clear message to our shareholders, stakeholders and customers of a well-planned, well-managed and most importantly, a well-governed business,” he said.
Attesting to the strength and managerial capability of Wigwe, Aig-Imoukhuede noted: “Early in 2012, I disclosed to our board of directors my desire to retire at the end of 2013; pursuant to which the board of directors unanimously decided that Herbert Wigwe would be the next CEO of Access Bank.
“He has been an outstanding deputy to me and has a complete understanding of our strategies, culture, technology and competitive environment.
“Importantly, he has strong relationships with our entire management team and customers. We believe that Herbert’s background and skills make him a perfect fit to lead Access Bank as we enter the next chapter of our transformation.”
Speaking on the future of Access Bank, Aig-Imoukhuede said the bank would focus more on the retail segment of the market while also sustaining its leading role in the corporate end of the industry.
His successor, Wigwe, expressed delight with taking on the new role, stressing that the bank had incredibly talented employees and was in a strong position to further its leadership in the banking industry.
He said: “I am excited to take on this new role. I look forward to leading Access Bank in the years ahead and helping to make it even stronger than it is today.”
“Access Bank has incredibly talented employees and is in a strong position to further its leadership in the industry. I look forward to leading Access Bank in the years ahead and helping to make it even stronger than it is today.
“I would like to thank the board members for their strong endorsement and the opportunity to lead this great institution. I look forward to meeting our employees, customers, and shareholders across our various markets in the weeks and months ahead,” he added.
Armed with a law degree, Aig-Imoukhuede started his banking career over two decades ago, out of which 10 years were spent at Guaranty Trust Bank Plc (GTBank) before resigning in 2001 to lead a dynamic team of accomplished bankers as the Managing Director/CEO of Access Bank.
A member of the Economic Management Team of the President Goodluck Jonathan administration, Aig-Imoukhuede has handled several public and private sector assignments, chief of which was his chairing of the ministerial, and later presidential committee on the verification of the fuel subsidy scheme, which indicted scores of oil marketers for defrauding the federal government of several billions of naira.
He was recently appointed the 1st Vice-President of the NSE.
Wigwe started his professional career with Coopers and Lybrand Associates, an international firm of accountants.
He subsequently moved to GTBank where he also spent 10 years.
In 2002, he resigned to join Aig-Imoukhuede in transforming Access Bank as group deputy managing director of the bank.
Wigwe is an alumnus of Harvard Business School and a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN). He holds Master’s degrees in Banking and International Finance from the University College of North Wales and Financial Economics from the University of London, respectively.