The Agio Story
“My vision to make secure, reliable, resilient systems is literally what I’ve done since I was a kid.”
– Bart McDonough, CEO
How it started.
Agio’s story starts with its founder and CEO, Bart McDonough. He had intentions of being a lawyer, a finance guy, or a…well, you get the idea. But in reality? He did — and has always done — technology.
He fixes technology. He introduces people to new ways of doing things with technology. And he’s been doing it since he was a kid.
Mind the gap.
Bart is working at SAC. The plan is for him to move to the UK, lead the SAC office there, and then move on to Hong Kong to lead that office. Those plans fizzle when the financial crisis hits. SAC decides to “go to cash” and get out of the market until things calm down, but their technology costs remain high. Can they outsource their IT?
Bart talks to providers and realizes the big guys could do the job, but they didn’t understand the hedge fund industry. On the flip side, traditional hedge fund tech providers didn’t know how to manage large organizations. There’s a gap.
The market needs a technology provider that can provide enterprise-level support but in a way that understands the culture and the technology demands of a large hedge fund.
I get very excited about solving problems via technology and making businesses work better through technology. For me, Agio was a natural progression. To have any other vision outside of that would be inauthentic.
Bart McDonough, CEO
The rumbling of an idea.
Bart leaves SAC to start BartCo (as opposed to the more generic NewCo). As his thoughts and plans mature into the Agio business plan, Bart knows clear expectations for both the company and its people are critical to success.
A phrase you’ll often hear is The Agio Way. The Agio Way is to be respectful, professional, and communicative and extend a helping hand whenever it’s needed.
BartCo becomes Agio.
How did the first year go? Like most new businesses, there was a lot of learning and a shift in expectations.
Inspired by Netflix’s popular cultural deck, Bart writes the beta version of what later becomes the Agio Culture Book, the quintessential guide for who Agio is as a high-performing organization and what it expects from its people.
The meaning behind the Italian word "Agio".
The Italian word “Agio” means a premium that’s the value add to a transaction. Because this new firm will work with companies doing transactions—whether it’s a single trading stock transaction or buying and selling companies—Agio fits the bill. Our company, Agio, is the value add that was missing in 2008.
Systems are go.
Agio launches a customized proprietary ticketing platform to help service and scale with our clients.
A commitment to culture.
Until now, Agio had one very large client and many smaller clients, which was terrific. Except it started to feel less like a service company and more like a group of people built to service a single client (the largest one). It was time for a shift back to being a company. Agio becomes more intentional with its choices, which leads to a more deliberate culture.
Agio acquires Secure Enterprise Computing to improve our depth around cybersecurity. We now have an improved, tested methodology to systematically measure and assess firms’ cyber risk.
Growth. Enagement. Loyalty.
You don’t hear too many business leaders say this, but there was a point where Agio became too profitable. We know it sounds strange. We had onboarded so many new clients that our margins went too high. We quickly realized we hadn’t invested in the right staffing and resources to keep up with the new demand.
What we learned is that you can have values and metrics around profitability, health, customer service and employees, but they can’t stand on their own. They really need to be in coordination with each other. This led us to GEL, our three-legged stool.
We’ve been working hard, and it shows. Agio lands on the Inc. 5000 list.
Agio launches its Private Cloud to prepare clients for the eventual adoption of the public cloud.
We implement Managed Detection & Response (MDR) to round out our existing cybersecurity protection services.
Formalizing learning culture.
Our Art of Service culture requires employees to create their own brilliance. That happens when we take care of the basics—like making sure everyone has what they need at their fingertips so they don’t have to hunt for it. Agio Academy and other tools push the information to them.
The Agio Academy also addresses another essential part of our culture: continual learning.
I think learning and education are incredibly important. When I thought about what would make our people successful, I knew I wanted to dedicate resources to make sure Agio is fostering a learning culture.
Bart McDonough, CEO
Welcome to the public cloud.
Agio migrates to Office 365 and demonstrates the reliability and security of the public cloud.
Months later, we launch Managed Azure for clients who want to follow in our footsteps.
A new industry.
Agio Healthcare Cybersecurity 360 is officially introduced to the market to provide in-house expertise to firms with healthcare strategies.
Diversity makes us all better.
Agio officially has more women in cybersecurity than men. In a field traditionally dominated by men, this is an important milestone not just for Agio but the industry as a whole.
Agio Gives Back is born.
Employees are given 32 hours of VTO (Volunteer Time Off) each year to give back to their communities. Empowering team members to pursue causes they feel passionate about lowers stress, increases morale, and gives each employee one more tool in their arsenal to #BeBetterThanYesterday.
“When looking back at Agio’s achievements over the years, the deliberate creation of our culture has undoubtedly been its greatest success, followed closely by the hiring of extraordinary individuals who not only respect the Agio Culture, but embrace and promote it.”
Gina Peterson, Director of Strategic Communications
Cybersecurity is becoming more and more important to regulators, investors, and stakeholders. To prepare clients to handle anything that comes their way, we add three new services to our portfolio: Phishing Protection, Technical Testing, and SEC Cybersecurity Mock Audit.
We all know what happens next. The global pandemic forces businesses to transition to work-from-home models. For many—especially in the financial services industry—this is a first. As the role of the CTO becomes front and center, clients rely heavily on Agio to lead their digital transformation and make sure remote-work setups are secure, efficient, and cost-effective.
In collaboration with Point72 Hyperscale, Agio unveils a tech-enabled service offering that leverages the best of AI, machine learning, and human interaction.
The result is a frictionless service that reduces issues, increases speed to resolution, and makes clients smarter, all to allow clients to spend more time focused on their work and less time worrying about IT.