Camille Gutt

Camille Gutt

Camille Gutt at the Bretton Woods Conference, 1944.
1st Managing Director of the IMF
In office
6 May 1946  5 May 1951
Preceded by inaugural
Succeeded by Ivar Rooth
Personal details
Born Camille Guttenstein
(1884-11-14)14 November 1884
Brussels, Belgium
Died 7 June 1971(1971-06-07) (aged 86)
Brussels, Belgium
Nationality  Belgium
Alma mater Université Libre de Bruxelles
Profession Lawyer, economist
Religion Judaism

Camille Gutt (14 November 1884 – 7 June 1971), born Camille Guttenstein, was a Belgian economist, politician, and industrialist. He served as the first Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) from 6 May 1946 to 5 May 1951. Camille Gutt was the architect of a monetary reform plan that facilitated the recovery of the Belgian economy after World War II.

Early life

Born in Brussels, he was a son of Max Guttenstein and Marie-Paule Schweitzer. Max Guttenstein had moved to Belgium from Austria-Hungary in 1877 and became a Belgian citizen in 1886.[1][2] Camille Gutt attended high school at the Royal Athenaeum in Ixelles. Gutt obtained a Ph.D. in legal studies, and a master's degree in political and social sciences at the Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB). During his study, he met Claire Frick, whom he married in 1906. The marriage gave birth to three sons: Jean-Max (1914-1941), François (1916–1944) and Etienne (1922–).[3]


Camille Gutt worked in various industries, such as in the Société Générale de Belgique and Groupe Empain as well as politics. During World War I, Gutt worked for Georges Theunis and again from 1920 until 1924 as his Chief of Cabinet. Later, Gutt also worked for the cabinet of Emile Francqui. Camille Gutt was Minister of Finance of Belgium in 1934-1935 and 1939-1940, Minister of Finance, Economics and Traffic in 1940-1942, Minister of Finance and economics in 1942-1943, and Minister of Finance in 1943-1944 in the Belgian government in exile in London.

Gutt was responsible for saving the Belgian franc before and after World War II. Before the war, he saved the Belgian currency by secretly transferring the gold reserves of the Belgian National Bank out of Nazi reach. After the war, he stabilized the Belgian franc and forestalled inflation, with what still is known as the Gutt operation. Camille Gutt also played a major role in forging the Benelux, and by this contributed to the formation of the European Union.


Selected publications


  1. Camille Gutt
  2. An unusual postcard
  3. Dictionnaire des femmes belges: XIXe et XXe siècles by Eliane Gubin; Lannoo Uitgeverij; 2006; p. 261-262
  4. Recueil Des Cours, Collected Courses, 1948, Volume 72.

Further reading

External links

Civic offices
Preceded by
Head of the International Monetary Fund
Succeeded by
Ivar Rooth

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