Why: The Story of MontVue


For many years when asked to tell the story of MontVue, we would always start: ‘When we founded the company in 1999…’ But, with much history of MontVue having been written, we now understand that the story of MontVue was crafted over generations by both experiences and people.

With this broader arc in mind, if we point to an inception date, it would need to be sometime during the year 1935 when Annie Bowling of Colleen, Virginia met Robert Umbarger from Bland County.


Annie and Bob raised four children on the farm, spread out over three decades. These children were taught to make every minute count and to do whatever they did well, which included serving others, taking care of the community, and cultivating a generous spirit.

They married and settled on property in Nelson County, Virginia which had been in the family since the mid 1800’s. Neither had much education, but they had more than their share of heart and work ethic.


Sarah Burnett was one of those children and Anne Umbarger is the child of another.

When we, Sarah and Anne, went into business as MontVue Capital Management in 1999, our goal was to offer portfolio management services. We customized diversified portfolios to meet the investment needs of our individual clients.


Over the years the investment industry changed, and so did our firm. Even while MontVue was growing, portfolio management was becoming more commoditized. But, we were finding a new way to serve our clients. We were becoming a trusted source of wisdom and counsel on the full tableau of our clients’ financial lives, in addition to their investments and returns.

The longer we work at creating and shaping MontVue, the more we realize just how connected it is to our family roots.

As our relationships with our clients grow, expanding into their financial lives beyond investments, now more than ever we draw upon the character and personal qualities we learned in our youth.

Today we serve a diverse client base—in terms of age, background and professions. But each client has created or grown their personal wealth through hard work, sacrifice, grit and opportunity.

A lot like Annie and Bob.

A Tribute to Bill Russell

Much about the MontVue approach to clients was influenced by our late colleague and mentor, Bill Russell (William Horace Russell, III.) In the 1980s when Sarah worked for Central Fidelity Bank in Lynchburg, Bill was the head of the western region trust area and had the reputation of being the best trust guy in Virginia—tough as nails and beholden to no one.