Michael Doherty: Bringing it all Back Home

The Waterford CEO of a leading international financial services company is drawing on his personal family experience to promote corporate social responsibility as his firm expands its operations across the globe. Cheekpoint man Michael Doherty Doherty and the company’s Group Director of Operations, fellow Irishman Senan McGonigle, have many years’ experience working with non-profit organisations. Michael and Senan both have children who are wheelchair users, and Senan was previously co-founder of the Association of Irish Powerchair Football, a sport for people with disabilities whose only ability is to use a powered wheelchair.

Woodbrook CEO Michael Doherty

Woodbrook CEO Michael Doherty


In Cyprus, where Woodbrook is domiciled, the company plays a lead supporting role to Charisma, a charity that provides artistic services to ‘charismatic individuals with special needs’. The non-profit charity, established in 2016, enables children and adults with special needs to develop and display their talents and give them the confidence to emerge from the shadow of social alienation.
Woodbrook provides support in three different ways: direct financial assistance, by playing an active role on the charity’s committee to help it achieve its goals and by promoting its work directly in their sales offices to clients, suppliers and their own employees. This innovative mix of financial and hands-on support is an approach the company is looking to replicate by supporting charities in other territories as it expands its global operations. Doherty said: “Charity work is individual and personal. Our own ethos is influenced, of course, partly by my own and Senan’s personal experiences, but all our staff have shown the same willingness to help whenever they’ve been made aware of opportunities. We’re not doing this to be better that others – it’s a corporate ethos, but very much grounded in the goodness of people. Just give them an opportunity.”
Woodbrook Group Director of Operations Senan McGonigle (left) and CEO Michael Doherty (centre) with Charisma members and volunteers

Woodbrook Group Director of Operations Senan McGonigle (left) and CEO Michael Doherty (centre) with Charisma members and volunteers


Doherty, who was recently named at one of the 100 Most Influential People in the Global Financial Services Sector by International Adviser, has been confirmed as one of three key speakers who will address the Waterford Chamber Regional Leaders Programme, which begins next month. He will be joined by Dr Norah Patten of the International Space University and Conor McCarthy, Founder of Dublin Aerospace.Mr Doherty said: “This is a fantastic initiative and I’m delighted to be invited to speak to participants. Innovative leadership is vital for businesses of all sizes to grow. Waterford is on the cusp of some exciting times ahead with some very positive developments, particularly the North Quays regeneration, and the Regional Leaders Programme is a great opportunity for local businesses to learn and exchange ideas that will help them to develop as the city grows over the coming years.”

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