Vladas Jurgutis

Professor Vladas Jurgutis was the first Governor of the Bank of Lithuania. He came into office in 1922. Some call him a “spiritual banker”, because he was a priest by education and only later turned to economics. Jurgutis is also unofficially called the “father” of the litas, because owing to him and his strict monetary policy, the litas was one of the strongest currencies in the world.

It is said that Jurgutis was a strict leader, especially fond of discipline. He took his duties seriously and knew almost every employee of the Bank of Lithuania, since he had personally selected all of them.

Even though he had no prior experience, Jurgutis took his duties as Governor very seriously. At that time, the country was worn out, the economy was disrupted, and there was simply no experience in central banking, but through his efforts, the organisational structure of the Bank of Lithuania was finally formed, and the Lithuanian economy grew stronger thanks to the bank’s decisions. He governed the bank until his resignation in 1929.

To commemorate Vladas Jurgutis, since 1997, the Bank of Lithuania has been granting the Vladas Jurgutis Award for scientific research in the fields of Lithuanian banking, finance, money and macroeconomics. A high school in Palanga and a street in Vilnius are even named after Vladas Jurgutis. In 2015, next to the central building of the Bank of Lithuania in Vilnius, a monument made from molten 50 litas cent coins was built for Vladas Jurgutis. You can visit it even today!

A memorial plaque created by sculptor Vladas Žuklys and architect Jonas Lukšė, dedicated to the first Governor of the Bank of Lithuania Vladas Jurgutis, was unveiled at the Bank of Lithuania’s building in Kaunas in 1995.