Onega's History and Philosophy
Onega Ltd was formed in 1998 out of what was originally the internal IT department of Scudder Investments (UK) Ltd which in turn used to be Zurich Investment Management UK. The corporate world is a continual swish of mergers and acquisitions and sure enough this continued with Scudder Investments UK merging in with Threadneedle Asset Management. At the time of this latter merger, there were 10 members of the London office IT team and a jolly good team it was. Scudder's offices were located at the top of Moorgate in the City of London, and it was a fun and dynamic place to work. We all worked hard and ran a tight ship as far as IT went. IT very much served the business in this environment and the relationship between IT and everyone else in the research analysts, equity and fixed income investment teams, finance, marketing and all the other departments was very good.
With the merger into Threadneedle, sadly the London IT team were surplus to requirement - Threadneedle (being the larger organisation) already having market data, trade floor support, systems administrators, comms and networking people, and senior IT management at director level. Thus, the adventure of Onega began as an exercise in what is formally known as 'portfolio risk diversification' and instead of the IT team servicing one large internal client, the change was made to instead service a wider external client base. Thus historically Onega has had a keen alignment with the financial sector including hedge funds, investment management companies and banks, but also now equally diversified to include architects, consultancies, engineering firms, general SMEs (Small and Medium Enterprises which generally means any company between 2 and 250 people), international firms, educational and third sector (charity) organisations. To each of these we can provide the services and level of service that would traditionally be delivered internally within a bigger organisation.
We originally named the company Onega as our first office was based in Onega Gate in London's Canada Water district. We liked the name as it worked well as an abstract entity and whilst IT Services and Communications are our main business, the name does not tie us to that. We've since learned that Onega is also the name of the second largest lake in Europe (located to the east of the Baltic Sea), an Argentinian footballer and the second stage of the Soyuz Rocket. In the UK Onega is protected as a registered trademark of Onega Ltd in categories relevant to our work.
Most of our clients have come through referral and we've liked growing organically over time to where we are today, working with businesses that are both actual and aspirational category leaders and providing a wide range of IT services with empathy, deep knowledge and understanding. We enjoy working with our clients and are thankful for every referral.
Things have evolved over time; the team evolves, our services evolve, and our client base evolves. Many of the services we now provide ourselves are as result of frustration with offerings on the market; some of which competed hard on price to the point of negative client value if they were not up to scratch. Sometimes we've thought 'we can do it better ourselves' so that is what we've done in many cases. Where a service is provided by Onega, we can assure a level of quality and overall value proposition. We recognise that when we put our name to a service, our reputation goes with this, and that is something that takes a long time to establish based on trust but only seconds to lose, so our focus on engineering, quality and security as well as value are substantial.
Vita Iter Est - what's that all about?
Our company motto as on our business cards and website etc. is Vita Iter Est, which translated from the Latin means 'Life is a Journey' which speaks to how we act and understand things. IT and business ever changes and evolves and so must we with this. We don't seek one-off deals or quick enrichment, but rather look to mutually successful long term partnerships with clients. Any IT system has a lifecycle and even while we design and implement a solution for a need, so we look at what is new and at evolving ways of doing things such as will come next. We like to maintain systems in good order and make sure that your IT is serving the needs of your business at all times.
That 'Life is a Journey' also reflects our appreciation of the Greek Philosophy of Eudemonia, which translates to 'The Good Life'. This can only be evaluated ultimately after our death as to whether we've had a good and productive life individually, contributed to family and society to the best of our abilities, had friends and been generally 'good eggs'. As individuals in the company and as a company as a whole this is what we aim for. It's probably an old-school way of saying that we enjoy adding value and want to leave clients and the world in a better state than we find it. A tall order but a firm commitment towards which we strive.