Much of the affairs of the Wasp Empire are run by branches of the military: the Imperial Army, the Engineering Corps, the Slavers Corps etc. But trade and manufacturing fall to an entirely different group.
The Consortium of the Honest is one of the few ways that a non-military man can get on in the Empire. It even makes room for non-Wasps. In fact, the Consortium mostly falls under the control of a number of established Beetle dynasties.
Unfortunately, most of the members of the Consortium that we have seen have been corrupt to one degree or another, lending even more weight to the overall instability of the Empire.