CFI.co Meets the President & CEO of FreeBalance: Manuel Pietra

FreeBalance is a customer-centric company, globally distributed, with integrated processes. The FreeBalance organisation and management structure is arranged in a matrix. This structure encourages a culture of cross-functional collaboration in support of customers. All internal performance metrics are driven by customer satisfaction.

While many organisations claim to be customer-centric, FreeBalance goes a step further and involves its customers in the company’s functioning and future development. In 2007, the company formed the FreeBalance International Steering Committee (FISC). FISC provides an interactive forum for the exchange of knowledge, ideas, and experiences amongst FreeBalance customers.

Insights from FISC meetings and discussions provide leadership and vision for FreeBalance solutions for the public sector. These activities, combined with other aspects of the company’s ISO 9001:2008 certified customer-centric processes, ensures FreeBalance products meet changing international needs in a financially sustainable fashion.

“FISC provides us with visibility into current and future customer needs,” says Manuel Pietra, president & CEO of FreeBalance. “Our customers have a unique opportunity to work collaboratively with our team and with their peers to provide an in-depth look in to public financial management trends.” Customers at FISC participate directly in the FreeBalance product development process by voting for roadmap changes over the course of a two-year window.

FreeBalance also engages directly with ministers of finance through its bi-annual Ministers’ Roundtable. This event brings together ministers from customer countries to explore how governments can better plan and execute to achieve sustainable economic growth through digital transformation.

The FreeBalance management team leads a group of professionals committed to making a difference in the world. Social responsibility is core to what FreeBalance does because of the impact its software and services have on country prosperity. FreeBalance is a for-profit enterprise that does good and does well. The FreeBalance team understands that broad and inclusive economic development can overcome the instability and poverty that plagues the modern world. Improving governance, particularly in the public sector, is the most effective enabler of country growth.

Mr Pietra adds: “We believe that people should be at the heart of smart government. Technology plays an important role but our efforts should be focused on how to leverage that technology to improve the lives of citizens through good governance.”

“Our mission is to help governments around the world leverage sustainable and smart solutions to support good governance, accountability and transparency.”
“Smart government requires improved control, transparency and accountability to be effective. FreeBalance provides a unified governance platform that supports smart government through financial, human resources and performance management.”

“Good governance and achieving development goals directly impacts local economies and the lives of each citizen. Social responsibility is integral to what we do. That’s why we operate with a customer-centric approach.”

About Manuel Pietra
Manuel Pietra is a global executive and entrepreneur with more than 25 years of successful management experience in companies based in the United States, Canada, Europe, South Africa,nd Latin America. He has a proven track record in building and running companies, from start-ups to well-established private and public organisations. He has consistently demonstrated an ability to build and lead successful teams and businesses in the international arena.

As president & CEO of FreeBalance, Mr Pietra leads global growth strategies focused on advancing the company’s objectives and promoting revenue, profitability, and growth. Mr Pietra has transformed the firm into a customer-centric and socially responsible company increasing its footprint to 25 countries worldwide. He is responsible for ensuring that FreeBalance fulfils its mission to help governments across the world leverage robust financial management technology to accelerate country growth.

Mr Pietra has held executive positions on the boards of several international companies and actively participated in the venture capital space. He has participated in several successful IPO’s in North America, Europe, and South Africa.

Mr Pietra has served in several international positions including president of the International Consortium on Governmental Financial Management (ICGFM) in Washington, DC. As president, Mr Pietra was also chair of the executive committee providing vision and leadership to support the continued growth of the ICGFM as the world’s foremost community of PFM practitioners.

Mr Pietra is multilingual and often speaks at high profile investment seminars and technology conferences across the world in English, Portuguese, Spanish, and French.


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