Between 1969 and 1973, a group of young Bolognese university professors led by Nino Andreatta were invited by American economist Lawrence Klein to participate in the LINK project, aimed at building an econometric model of the world economy. The project won Klein the Nobel Prize in 1980.
The quarterly econometric model for the Italian economy was constructed by Giorgio Basevi, Paolo Bosi, Filippo Cavazzuti, Carlo D’Adda, Guido Gambetta, Paolo Onofri, Anna Stagni and Angelo Tantazzi with the aid of the few computer tools available at that time: mainframe, plotters and punch cards, and mimeographs and photocopies for duplication needs.
The eruption of the oil crisis in 1974 created unprecedented macroeconomic uncertainty, and enterprises’ need for Economic Forecasts became acute. Nino Andreatta insightfully perceived this need and, together with the young professors he had gathered around him, founded Prometeia Associazione per le Previsioni Econometriche, which began producing forecasts in 1975.
In 1981, while the Association was still in its early years, Prometeia Calcolo Srl (the current Prometeia) was created. In addition to providing computing services to the Association, it also carried out analyses and forecasts on industry sectors. Once again guided by Nino Andreatta’s strategic vision, the Association developed specific skills in market and financial intermediary analysis and appointed both Marco Onado and Giuseppe Lusignani to its Scientific Committee, while the then Prometeia Calcolo began to offer these skills and services on the market.
By the end of the 1980s, the Prometeia Group had thus become the first centre in Italy able both to elaborate sophisticated forecasts at sector level, intended for the real economy and consistent with the major monetary and banking forecasts, and to provide advice on the use of these forecasts for decision-making in business and financial companies.
It was in the 1990s, however, that Prometeia’s activities steered decisively towards the model that still renders it unique today: the integration of economic research, analysis, consultancy and software system development with a view to meeting banks’ and businesses’ growing need for customisation. In continuity with this process, 2006 saw the creation of Prometeia Advisor Sim, a consultant to institutional investors.
The inspiration for the name comes from a tragedy by Aeschylus. Prometheus is in Zeus’ bad graces because he is kind to mortals. When the father of the Gods decides to withdraw the gift of fire from human beings, Prometheus rebels and gives it back to them.
From this act of defiance – based on intelligence and designed to give men control over their own destiny – stems the concept of Promètheia (pre-vision or pre-vidence), an ability that allows one to identify the hidden opportunities and risks of the future, which is by definition unknown. Combined with talent, this skill was regarded as the key prerequisite for effective and successful actions.