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Wigwe wanted his own bank after attending Harvard as GTB director – Segun Agbaje

Group CEO of Guaranty Trust Holding Company (GTCO) Plc Segun Agbaje has said that the late Herbert Wigwe was determined to own his own bank after attending courses at Harvard Business School.

Mr Agbaje disclosed this while eulogising Wigwe during a tribute by professionals and colleagues in Lagos on Monday.

The GTCO boss recalled how he and Wigwe were both colleagues at Guaranty Trust Bank (GTB) while climbing the corporate ladder.

He said, “I met Herbert November 1991. We were both in the corporate bank. This gentleman walked in, didn’t take off his jacket because we all had our jackets on. Well, that was Herbert, he was going to do it his own way.

“He drove a red golf. Who drives a red golf? Only a man who’s that brazen drives around in a red golf.

“Very quickly, Herbert earned our respect. Herbert was one of the cleverest people at Guarantee Trust Bank. He was a credit analyst’s analyst.

“But that’s not what got him his respect because we were all good analysts. But Herbert had what we all didn’t have, he had the power to chase accounts, network and deliver things that we all couldn’t.”

The banker also said he and Wigwe got promoted to executive director positions at GTB the same day.

“The thing about that position is, you were then sent to Harvard for three months. Mistake. You never came back from that course the same person. Aig and Herbert came back and they had bigger dreams than the bank and so they bought their own bank,” he said.

“Thankfully one of us stayed, maybe the cowardly one. And so I stayed behind and in the years when they built Access Bank, if you know us well, we’d compete and so we became very fierce competitors. We fought furiously but never poorly or never badly.”

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