Forex Thought Leaders: Francesc Riverola, Founder and President

Francesc Riverola is one of the foremost thought leaders in the world of forex trading, being founder and President, former CEO of FX Street, which is without a doubt one of the most respected and popular forex sites on the web.

Riverola first got involved in the world of foreign exchange in 1997, working as a webmaster for a Forex advisory firm in Barcelona. His task was to create a Forex information site with the look and feel of a corporate site, in an effort to draw traffic and later generate clients for the firm. This was a relatively new formula at the time, and proved to be a successful one, but the company fell foul of the Spanish financial regulators CNMV and was forced to close.

Instead of looking for another job, Riverola decided to devote his energies to a project he had been working on for some time while he finished his business degree. This project turned out to be FX Street, which was created with the help of his wife Miriam, who handled the design duties, and his friend Setxi, who did the coding.

The site proved to be an instant success, and the trio gave up their jobs to devote themselves to improving the site, working unpaid for two years. The hard work paid off, and FX Street established itself as one of the foremost online authorities on the topic of forex trading.


FX Street appeared at a time when the online forex trading industry was going through a period of explosive growth. Early advertisers such as Saxo Bank and FXCM went from being small companies with just a handful of staff to massive multinational financial corporations within the space of just a few years. As Frances put it in an interview with ForexBlog Interview with FXStreet CEO Francesc Riverola: “I do not see a reason why spreads can not go down to zero. He remembers the fast pace the Forex industry has taken since the early days in 1997:

Everything is happening extremely fast… I still remember like it was yesterday discussing prices and ad campaigns with Lars Christensen, Co-CEO at Saxo Bank nowadays a firm with hundreds of employees or with Marc Prosser, former CMO at FXCM when the company had no more than 20 members staff.
Back then Forex was like the Gold Race in Wild West times. In the beginning, it was a race to find the right spot and get the most acres of land possible. Then firms settled down and had to run a business from it. A serious one. To do that, they had to keep “bandoleros” away – non-regulated firms willing to rip clients up – and to improve the quality of their cattle moving from dealing to non-dealing desk.

At the outset of the decade, companies were involved in something of a gold rush, racing to establish a strong foothold in the market. At the same time, there were many unregulated firms looking to rip off their clients, and this brought the attention of US financial regulator the National Futures Association. As a result, regulations regarding forex trading were significantly tightened up, which naturally slowed down the explosive growth in this market. Credibility and transparency became increasingly important, and portal websites such as FXstreet became increasingly powerful as a result.

Somewhat surprisingly, considering his pre-eminence in the forex world, Riverola has never placed a currency trade in his life. The reason for this is that Riverola knows enough about trading to recognise that he doesn’t have the necessary attributes to become a successful trader, such as patience, consistency, and discipline. What he does have is an open mind, and this enables him to see the relative merits of all views and strategies, rather than developing the fixed mindset of an experienced trader.

In recent years, Riverola has overseen a change in strategy at FX Street, with a much higher priority being given to the quality of content on the website, rather than the quantity. This has entailed a redesign of the site, the introduction of new tools for traders, and a thorough overhaul of the key content, and collaboration with some of the most respected voices in Forex trading. Riverola has been swift to embrace the possibilities of social media, especially Twitter, and has for many years updated a popular blog on FX Street providing insights, analysis, and opinions related to the currency market.