MONTAG: Branding for the Future
Back in 1945, when our grandfather Louis Montag founded Atlanta’s first investment advisory firm, Louis Montag Investment Counsel, he was new to the field and the field was new in the South. That’s all changed.
What hasn’t changed is the seriousness with which the Montag family and firm members hold themselves accountable to clients for investment advice and results.
Louis Montag, born in 1903, was the third generation of his family to live in Atlanta. Anthony Montag, our father, joined his firm in 1960. The firm had by then renamed itself Montag & Caldwell.
Dad was there 19 years and departed to open this firm. When he did, he used our family’s strongest asset as his nameplate, titling his firm, A. Montag & Associates. And like him, we have joined our father in the investment field.
It has been a primary mission for us to continue building a reputation for trustworthy, competitive investment advice, where strong client relationships define how work is executed.
In the last year or so, it became clear that time had come to formally brand the firm around the many decades of work and trust that has carried us. By the start of 2014, our firm managed more than $1 billion in assets for 250 loyal clients and employed a remarkable group of investment professionals – longtime staff members like Tom Frisbie, Mike Jones, Joe Foley and Marianne Shutzberg who have been instrumental in the success of our firm.
Defining and distinguishing ourselves in a crowded field became imperative, and a branding effort to highlight the firm was undertaken.
Wanting a strong new visual embodiment of the things that have enabled us to attract and serve our clients through the years, we went through a re-branding process that focused on capturing and articulating the absolute best of A. Montag & Associates. As a result, the new MONTAG brand was developed.
Our New Brand Remains Focused on Clients
Our re-branding initiative has focused on what we believe to be the essence of our firm. Naturally, this was defined in large measure by what our clients appreciate.
We learned, for example, that a most of our clients and other friends of the firm refer to us as simply “MONTAG.” Since the Montag name embodies our heritage as a firm with third-generation roots, the decision to move ahead with this simplified name was natural.
We also learned that our clients consider our individualized approach to portfolio management the defining attribute of our firm. It therefore made perfect sense for our new brand to be anchored by this.
Our individualized approach is more than just a feature of working with us – it is the frame of our entire approach.
Our identity had to express our focus on the objectives of the client across the table, and the pleasure we take in working with him or her as problem solvers rather than simply performance-driven investors.
Our New Brand Is About One Long-Standing Promise
Our re-branding is not a reinvention of our firm; far from it. Rather, it represents tangible evidence of our long-standing dedication to helping our clients to build generational wealth. The new MONTAG brand has at its core a promise that, we feel, has been the essence of our offer since day one: the promise to apply our best judgment to protect and grow our clients’ capital.
Celebrating Our Roots and Our Future
Since these values are the cornerstone of everything we do as investment professionals, we wanted to take them a step further – to have them reinforced in all aspects of our business, from our website right down to our stationery.
Our new website is a great example of this. It makes use of images that depict both old and new Atlanta. The historical images used actually adorn the walls of our office; their use on our website reflects our commitment to the community that we have been a close part of since long before this firm was founded.
Our re-branding represents far more than simply a new look and feel. It reinforces the excitement around the MONTAG brand, bringing our heritage together with forward movement, investing for our clients today and for generations to come.
Ned Montag, Principal and Chief Executive Officer
John Montag, Principal and Chief Investment Officer