Freeform Training has a NPC who says one of the families are running into financial trouble, so I always assumed it was around this time, in order to make money. But I think I’m right in saying that mission was set in the late 90s? The Constant said “we’ve been around a long long time” - would you consider the 90s to be a long long time?
I’m doubtful, even moreso when you think that Providence possibly funded Ortmeyer’s experiments as far back as the 1960s. But if this is the case, what of the Five Fathers? Weren’t they funding it?
My theory is that the three families consolidated their wealth a “long long time ago”, as in over a century ago, maybe two. The Partners are the living descendents of those founders, having inherited their positions. Ortmeyer used the Five Fathers to fund his experiments in the 1960s, but over time they lost faith in him (indicated in their letters in C47) and eventually pulled their funding. This is when Providence stepped in and offered to continue the financing. It’s quite possible that the financial problems experienced by one of the families (I think it was the Carlisles?) was because by the 90s, they were pouring vast amount of money into Ortmeyer’s research, and other projects for Providence’s expansion.
This would also explain why such an old organization has a first Constant (Janus) who is still alive. He was recruited in 1991, so this could mean that this was the point when Providence was large enough to need a Constant.