Bolaji Agbede: Acting Group Chief Executive Officer of Access Bank

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Following Herbert Wigwe’s passing, Access Holdings Plc named Bolaji Agbede as the Acting Group Chief Executive Officer. Along with his wife, son, and former group chairman of the Nigerian Exchange Group Abimbola Ogunbanjo, Wigwe, the group chief executive officer of Access Holdings, perished in a helicopter crash in the United States over the weekend. About two days following the airline disaster that caught many, including those in the banking industry, off guard, Access Holdings named Agbede its new CEO.


In a statement released by its secretary Sunday Ekwochi, Access Holdings stated, “Further to its announcement dated February 11, 2024, the Board of Directors of Access Holdings Pic (‘the Company’) has today announced the appointment of Ms. Bolaji Agbede as the Acting Group Chief Executive Officer of the Company following the unfortunate demise of its former Group Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Herbert Wigwe, on February 9, 2024. The appointment is subject to the approval of the Central Bank of Nigeria.”


The Chairman of the Company, Mr. Abubakar Jimoh, made the following statement on this appointment. “The appointment of Ms. Agbede is in alignment with our robust succession planning practices. We are strongly convinced that Ms. Agbede, being the Company’s most Senior Executive with exceptionally rich, professional and leadership experience and understanding of the Access culture, would provide the much-needed leadership to steer the Company towards the attainment of its strategic vision of building a globally connected community and ecosystem, inspired by Africa for the world.”


Ms. Agbede was the Company’s most senior founding Executive Director in charge of Business Support before her most recent appointment. Her professional background spans almost thirty years, encompassing both banking and business consulting services. Ms. Agbede began working for Guaranty Trust Bank in 1992. 


She had several positions in the commercial banking and operations departments before being promoted to manager in 2001. In 2003, she went on to become the Chief Executive Officer of JKG Limited, a company that provided business consultancy services. As an Assistant General Manager, Ms. Agbede worked with Access Bank Pic (also known as “the Bank”) from 2003 till the present. Her duties included overseeing the Bank’s portfolio of chemical trading enterprises.


Between 2010 and 2022, she headed the Bank’s group human resources department. In 2022, she was named the company’s first executive director of business support. She has experience successfully integrating people into corporate mergers and changing company cultures. She graduated from the University of Lagos in 1990 with a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and statistics and from Canfield University with a master’s in business administration. 


She is a member of both the Nigerian and British chapters of the Chartered Institute of Personnel Management. Ms. Agbede has participated in many esteemed leadership and professional development programs, such as the London Business School’s Strategic Talent Management Program and the IMD’s High-Performance Leadership Program.


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