Told to me via email, and verified through other sources:
17 years ago an application with source code was bought off a vendor.
They had a core set of developers/managers and dbas who were by accident (rule change) made permenant at inflated salaries more akin to contractor incomes.
Around them was a group of long term Analyst Programmer contractors (up to 10 years ).
A small team of Business Contacts / Testers were also key.