The Captains of Industry were originally formed as a small investigative task force for the IMHS (Institute for Metahuman Studies) funded by a consortium of corporate interests. This was back in the days before the DEO or Checkmate were created by government mandate.
The IMHS was headed by a former Suicide Squad associate, chief psychiatrist Simon LaGrieve. The team's founders included Maser (aka Air Wave II), Firehawk and a former small time costumed criminal named Catalyst. Firehawk herself recruited the Silver Swan.
The Captains later served alongside Black Adam and the Suicide Squad on an especially bloody mission. They met Major Victory while he was serving on Black Adam's team. Eventually, the group came to work directly for Alan Windsor head of the Sunderland Corporation.