Remembering Joe O’Mara: a visionary in the FX industry and beloved colleague

Rick Steves

Joseph Patrick O’Mara, a beacon in the FX industry, whose life journey began on May 5, 1965, in Oak Park, IL, passed away on December 9 at the age of 58. 

FinanceFeeds honors the remarkable legacy of Joe O’Mara. Through this tribute, we celebrate his journey from an ambitious intern to a pioneering founder of DirectFX and Markets Direct.

His innovative spirit and profound impact on multi-asset trading leave an enduring legacy, inspiring generations in the financial world.

Joe O’Mara pioneered FX industry’s shift to multi-asset trading

As a young college student, Joe took his first steps in the trading world as a summer intern at the Old Midwest Stock Exchange and the CBOE. This experience sparked a passion that would define his career.

Reflecting on these days, O’Mara acknowledged his initial lack of skills but a strong intrigue for the rudimentary arbitrage possibilities that would later shape his career path.

Joe’s journey in the FX industry spanned over three decades, during which he built a reputation for innovation, relationship-building, and operational excellence. In 2001, he embarked on a significant venture, founding DirectFX. This brand, under Joe’s visionary leadership, operated in several jurisdictions, earning a reputation for its global reach and innovative approach to foreign exchange.

The entrepreneurial spirit in Joe never waned. In 2019, he launched Markets Direct, an institutional arm that quickly made its mark in the industry. This venture was another testament to Joe’s relentless pursuit of excellence and innovation in the financial markets.

His commitment to advancing the industry was further evident in his partnerships. In 2015, DirectFX began collaborating with DriveWealth to turn the FX industry into a multi-asset reality. His relationship with DriveWealth grew stronger over the years, eventually leading him to the role of Senior Sales Executive in 2022.

As we commemorate Joe O’Mara’s impactful legacy, let’s hear from those who knew him best – his friends and colleagues – as they share their personal experiences and insights, reflecting on the profound influence he had on both their lives and the industry.

“I lost a best friend. Our industry lost an icon. My prayers are with his family. May he rest in peace” – Tom O’Reilly, Markets Direct 

“I’m deeply saddened by the loss of Joe O’Mara, a friend whose humor and warmth made every moment special. I was lucky to have worked alongside him, experiencing his vibrant spirit firsthand. Joe’s absence leaves a profound void, but his friendship remains a cherished memory. Rest in peace, Joe.” – Robert Cortright Jr. DriveWealth

“I was very upset at the news of the premature death of my friend Joe Omara who I had known and worked for, and with, for ten years. He was a great character, a funny guy who dominated conversations even in his absence, a really great father who despite many many reversals and setbacks never failed to get right back up until one day he didn’t” – Richard Clarke, FPFX Tech

“I am so sorry to hear this terrible news. A dear friend and a good man” – Andrew Saks, TraderEvolution Global

“Whenever Joe spoke, you left the conversation feeling good. Indeed, Joe was a stand-up man. May he rest in peace” – Michael Siwek, DMALINK

“Just a great guy and friend to my family. His first thoughts were always to be the best father that he could be. He is truly missed by anyone who knew him” – Pete Thomas, Ausecure

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