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8/21/13

Mod note: Click here to see all of our q&a's and interviews

Given the multiple requests I got in another thread I've decided to follow in 10xleverage's footsteps.

To give you some background, I graduated from Harvard undergrad in 2008. After graduation I moved to the bay area to join the 2 year finance leadership analyst program at a F500 tech company. The program place analysts in 6 month assignments in various finance and strategy groups across the company. You can be assigned to typical FP&A (financial planning & analysis) groups, corporate development (M&A), corporate or divisional strategy groups, corporate treasury (work on the trading floor helping to manage a particular asset portfolio), internal audit, market & competitive intelligence teams, etc. After finishing the program I joined the corporate development team in what is considered a 1st year associate role.

Feel free to ask all you ever wanted about corporate finance, corporate strategy, corporate developement, or anything else.

Comments (288)

Best Response
12/12/10

1. When it comes to hiring MBAs, do these F500 hire directly into groups (i.e. hire an MBA candidate directly into corpdev) or do they go through a rotational as well?

From what I've seen (at least at my company and at a few others where friends work) most of these corpdev or corpstrat groups hire MBAs directly. The hierarchy at my company, for example, is usually sr. analyst, manager, sr. manager, director, sr. director, general manager, then the CFO.

post 2 years banking most come in at a sr. analyst (potentially manager titled but with sr. analyst pay) while post-MBAs come in at manager or sr. manager level.

2. What type of hours do you work?

Generally work 50-60 hours / week. If we are staffed on a large or pressing deal hours can increase to 80 hours/week...this happens maybe once every couple of months. In my 3 years thus far I've never worked more than 90 hours in a week.

3. What are your roles and responsibilities?

- Idea generation/ deal sourcing (usually in conjunction with the strategy team)
- Lead valuation analyses
- Participate in structuring and negotiating deals
- Due diligence
- Help prepare term sheets and definitive agreements
- Help organize post-close activities

- ad-hoc projects for our CEO, CFO, senior leadership team, and board.

4. How much do you get paid?

My total comp (including base + bonus + stock options) is ~$150K. Remember though that options typically vest over 5 year (1/5 every year). So you don't see that money immediately. As an analyst in the FLP total comp was ~$100K as a 1st year (most 1st years avg. $90-100K) and ~$120K as a 2nd year (most fall in the $110-120K range).

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12/12/10

You went through the FLP program, but when it comes to hiring MBAs, do these F500 hire directly into groups (i.e. hire an MBA candidate directly into corpdev) or do they go through a rotational as well?

What type of hours do you work? What are your roles and responsibilities? How much do you get paid?

12/12/10

+1 to "What type of hours do you work? What are your roles and responsibilities? How much do you get paid?"

In terms of recruitment into the corp dev group, how are BB analysts viewed? Also, do you deal with recruiters? How would we get in touch if a BB analyst wanted to get into corpdev?

Also, once you're there, is the goal to become the head of the group? Or are there 'exit ops'?

Thanks for doing this, always wanted this clarity on corp dev.

12/12/10

How do they place you into a group after the rotation program? Do you get to choose?
Corp dev/M&A is what I would be interested in also.

Also, any chance you would tell which company? (a PM would be good) Understandable if not.

12/12/10

very interested in this thread as well

12/12/10

* forgot to add the following to #3:
- help manage relationships with banks and VCs (mainly as part of the deal sourcing process)

12/12/10

Very interesting, thanks for the response. Where does your firm typically recruit MBAs from? What are hours like for manager-level guys directly out of MBA? Compensation?

Sounds like a pretty sweet gig. Any thoughts of leaving and going to get an MBA, or are you planning to stay for a while?

12/12/10

5. In terms of recruitment into the corp dev group, how are BB analysts viewed?

most F500 corpdev hires are former BB analysts. I am an exception since I was not a former banker.

6. Also, do you deal with recruiters?

My company does not use headhunters or recruiters for junior level hires (post banking, etc.) we post everything on our internal site and post on places like linkedin, etc. Some companies do use HH or recruiters though.

7. How would we get in touch if a BB analyst wanted to get into corpdev?

Go through a headhunter (for companies that use them), keep an eye out for job postings on simply hired or linkedin, etc.

8. Also, once you're there, is the goal to become the head of the group? Or are there 'exit ops'?

The goal generally is NOT to become the head of the group. As far as internal exit opps, most corpdev employees move into junior executive (i.e. director+) and eventually leadership (GM+) roles within each of the different divisions at the company. At my company, for example, a large % of the divisional CFOs came from corpdev or strategy teams. As far as external exit opps, those that leave generally follow one of the following routes: 1) VC, 2) CorpDev or Strat (lateral move to another company), 3) MBA , 4) startup management jobs, 5) junior exec/leadership roles at other company

12/12/10

I'd love to work in the States but heard firms only offer green cards to Associate level and above... Do you know this to be the case for 2yr rotational programs as well? Should i just apply to an EU or Cad position (have a similar firm in mind)

12/12/10

Great thread. How did you find out about the FLP program? About 90% of the postings through career services are for banks financial firms, and I have yet to see any significant corporate development postings.

12/12/10

9. How do they place you into a group after the rotation program? Do you get to choose?

Groups usually apply to hire analysts. Then analysts rank which groups they'd like to interview with and groups rank which analysts they want to interview. The based on these rankings analysts and groups are matched for interviews (usually 1-2 interviews with each group) which them leads to an offer. Usually 1-2 analysts in each class land a strategy or M&A job - most land them after they did a 6 month assignment with one of those teams and prove themselves (this is what i did).

10. Also, any chance you would tell which company? (a PM would be good) Understandable if not.

I would rather not say. However, it is a large F500 tech firm based in the bay area. My comments generally apply to most large tech companies...non-tech companies tend to have lower comp.

11. Where does your firm typically recruit MBAs from?

Top 10 MBA programs

12. What are hours like for manager-level guys directly out of MBA? Compensation?

Hours for manager level post-MBA guys tends to be 40-50 hours. Total comp ranges from like $150-200K. Remember though that this includes stock options which are not immediate comp.

13. Any thoughts of leaving and going to get an MBA, or are you planning to stay for a while?

Haven't really thought about it much.

14. I'd love to work in the States but heard firms only offer green cards to Associate level and above... Do you know this to be the case for 2yr rotational programs as well? Should i just apply to an EU or Cad position (have a similar firm in mind)

No idea on the immigration policies for the analyst program. We do sponsor in corpdev for post-MBA hires. Not sure how standard this is across the tech industry.

12/12/10

+1 SB for you my friend. What is general recruiting like out of undergrad? Is recruiting already over for kids coming out of school? If you don't mind me asking, why did you choose Corp Dev. over IB or more traditional finance route? Lastly, how does pay look like as you move up through the org?

In reply to harvardgrad08
12/12/10
harvardgrad08:

9. How do they place you into a group after the rotation program? Do you get to choose?

Groups usually apply to hire analysts. Then analysts rank which groups they'd like to interview with and groups rank which analysts they want to interview. The based on these rankings analysts and groups are matched for interviews (usually 1-2 interviews with each group) which them leads to an offer. Usually 1-2 analysts in each class land a strategy or M&A job - most land them after they did a 6 month assignment with one of those teams and prove themselves (this is what i did).
.

How many analysts are in a class? In other words, are these(^) groups more competitive than others? Are they difficult to get placed in for a 6-month rotation?

Thanks for doing this man, tons of help.

12/12/10

15. How did you find out about the FLP program?

I went to the tech company's presentation at Harvard during recruiting and asked about finance jobs even though it was a technical presentation. The HR person put me in contant with the person that ran the program.

16. What is general recruiting like out of undergrad? Is recruiting already over for kids coming out of school?

The program generally recruits at top school with a particular focus on top schools with undergrad business programs. I think full time recruiting for the program has ended.

17. If you don't mind me asking, why did you choose Corp Dev. over IB or more traditional finance route?

So I always had an interest in M&A but hated the banking lifestyle (interned in banking). Plus I've always had more of an industry interest as opposed to PE or VC. So i figured even if I did banking for 2 years I would probably end up in corpdev. After I learned about the program and figured out that I could get into corpdev without doing banking, without sacrificing too much in comp, and having an awesome lifestyle it was a no brainer.

18. Lastly, how does pay look like as you move up through the org?

Structure (from top to bottom):
- C-Level Executives (top 20 or so people at the company): total comp $5M+/year
- VPs: total comp ~$2-5M/year
- General Managers: ~$500K-$2M/year
- Sr. Director/Director: ~$300-500K/year
- Sr. Manager/Manager: $150-300K/year
- Sr. Analyst/Analyst: $100-150K/year

*Total compensation includes base salary + cash bonus + stock options (generally have 5-year vesting period)

12/12/10

How often do you work on the weekends? I would assume it's very limited, but just curious.

How much better are you liking corpdev as compared to banking? Bet a whole hell of a lot. I'm jealous. I work in a software-focused banking group so we probably work with you guys.

12/12/10

19. How many analysts are in a class? In other words, are these(^) groups more competitive than others? Are they difficult to get placed in for a 6-month rotation?

Analyst classes generally range from 15-25. These groups are generally a bit more competitive than others, however, each class is rather diverse and has varying interests...you have analysts who are die hard about going into audit, some that want to be traders in treasure, some that want strategy, some that want M&A, etc. etc. so the strat and M&A groups are a bit more competitive but not too much more than other groups. Getting placed into these groups requires some networking but it's not very difficult.

20. How often do you work on the weekends?

very rarely.

21. How much better are you liking corpdev as compared to banking?

I only did banking for a summer but I am loving it compared to that summer...my hours are great, comp is fantastic, I am given a lot of responsibiltiy, and the exposure to sr level management is awesome (to the point that our company's CEO sees my walking down the hallway and says hi to me by name, etc).

12/12/10

what if you didnt have the rotational and started as a regular financial analyst? do you know people who made the transition?

good rotational programs you would recommended? (im sure some are better than others)

12/12/10

22. What if you didnt have the rotational and started as a regular financial analyst? do you know people who made the transition?

In all reality, corpdev & strat groups are like banks. They want people with a certain pedigree...generally top undergrad + 2 years banking/consulting. The farther away you get from this background the harder it will be to get a job...it's possible but requires a lot of networking, hard work, and just proving yourself over and over. I know 2 people that have made the transition into strategy without the support of a leadership program - both guys started in product management. I know one guy that started off as a regular analyst and was able to make the jump into corpdev...however, he moved over into a junior level position at an older age (i.e. he was like 27 and took a corpdev analyst job). He was able to do it because he had developed a great reputation at the company for being extremely smart and hard working...

23. Good rotational programs you would recommended?

I honestly can't comment on how good certain programs are. However, one tool i used to judge how good a program is linkedin. I used linkedin to see how people in these types of programs have fared down the line. I'd just look up "finance leadership program," "finance rotation program," etc., etc. You can usually see where program analysts end up after the program.

12/12/10

interested this in well, if possible to transition from general finance role. It was my understanding that it's possible

12/12/10

Any tips for undergrads on how to get interviews for these rotational programs? (especially those of us who don't go to Harvard/other top targets)

Also, do you think the leadership/rotational internships are good programs?

12/12/10

24. Any tips for undergrads on how to get interviews for these rotational programs? (especially those of us who don't go to Harvard/other top targets)

A lot of F500 rotation program don't necessarily target HYPS schools...some do but most actually target large state schools with good undergrad business programs. One of the best things you can do is go to conferences that certain schools put on (i.e. Wharton Tech Conference, HBS Media & Entertainment Conference, etc.). At most of these conferences you will find people fromm strategy or corpdev groups from F500 companies that you can network with and get them to pass along your resume to the head of their rotation program. Also just go and apply to their websites...most F500 companies don't waste too much time with on campus recruiting so just apply via their website. You can also do what I did and go to a F500 company presentation during on campus recruiting, even if it's for technical positions, and inquire about finance or leadership program jobs.

25. Do you think the leadership/rotational internships are good programs?

They can be really good programs...a lot will also hire you as a sophomore which can then help you land a banking job during junior year and they are also a good way to secure a full time job in the actual leadership/rotational program.

12/12/10

Thanks. Not related, but do you know of any info about product management? Competitiveness, background, pay, etc
I made a thread a little bit ago but didn't receive much info http://www.wallstreetoasis.com/forums/product-mana...

12/12/10

For someone looking to do 2 years in banking and then leave to work in corp dev at a F500 tech company, what groups at the ibank would you suggest? M&A or Tech/TMT?

In other words, would you focus on getting good modeling/M&A skills or focus on becoming an industry expert in the Tech industry, or even a specific subsector within the tech industry?

12/12/10
12/12/10

I just a got a FT offer for a similar financial rotational in a F500 Bay Area company. However, I don't think analysts will rotate into a Corp Dev role. What advice would you give to people trying to break into Corp Dev from these kinds of finance rotationals?

12/12/10

26. Thanks. Not related, but do you know of any info about product management? Competitiveness, background, pay, etc.

From a background perspective it doesn't really matter - engineering, business, etc. you can get a job just being smart and don't need a specific kind of degree. It can be pretty competitive especially at top places like Google or Microsoft. Pay is slightly under if not equal to corpdev or strategy pay. I honestly don't know that much though.

27. For someone looking to do 2 years in banking and then leave to work in corp dev at a F500 tech company, what groups at the ibank would you suggest? M&A or Tech/TMT?

Both types of groups would get you a job...I personally would suggest the industry specific one since you will develop a deeper knowledge of the industry which should translate better than just pure M&A. That said, M&A will still get you in the door just because the vast majority of the work you will do in corpdev is M&A and won't do some of the other types of things that you potentially had to do in an industry group.

12/12/10

28. I just a got a FT offer for a similar financial rotational in a F500 Bay Area company. However, I don't think analysts will rotate into a Corp Dev role. What advice would you give to people trying to break into Corp Dev from these kinds of finance rotationals?

First of all, congrats on the offer. When I first started in my program no one had ever done a corpdev rotation. I networked really hard with all of the guys on the corpdev team...developed good relationships with them, tried to prove that I could do the work (wasn't too hard since I went to Harvard and had a top IBD internship), and then convinced them to take me on for a six month assignment. Definitely try to do this...if you are able to get them to take you on for 6 months and you do well you will have a good shot of landing a role after the program.

12/12/10

Does the below compensation structure apply to CorpDev only or is that the general expectation for all finance positions leaving your rotational programs?

I know that Tech generally pays pretty well and SF is expensive, but I'm at a non-tech F500 in the Chicago area and this is significantly higher than Finance in my company.

Structure (from top to bottom):
- C-Level Executives (top 20 or so people at the company): total comp $5M+/year
- VPs: total comp ~$2-5M/year
- General Managers: ~$500K-$2M/year
- Sr. Director/Director: ~$300-500K/year
- Sr. Manager/Manager: $150-300K/year
- Sr. Analyst/Analyst: $100-150K/year
*Total compensation includes base salary + cash bonus + stock options (generally have 5-year vesting period)

12/12/10

29. Does the below compensation structure apply to CorpDev only or is that the general expectation for all finance positions leaving your rotational programs?

This is the general expectation for non-technical jobs (which include finance). Corpdev tends to be on the higher end of the payscale...less sexy finance jobs (like reporting, etc.) tend to be on the lower end of this and have fewer positions at the higher levels.

If you look at the non-technical side of my company and evaluated how many people there are in each of these buckets you'd notice that the vast majority of employees fall in the "manager" bucket and have total comp of ~$150K.

C-Level to General Manager = top 2% of employees
Sr Director/Director = next 10%
sr manager/manager = next 85%
sr analyst/analyst = bottom 3%

12/12/10

* oh and also remember a sizable part of most of the higher level jobs is in the form of options which vest over 5 years...

12/13/10

harvardgrad -- thanks a lot for this, I really appreciate it. Over the past few years I've thought a lot about "what's next" post-banking, and this certainly clarifies some of the questions I've had about corpdev.

How many acquisitions have you seen through?

12/13/10

Thanks for starting this Harvardgrad08. Really appreciate it.

My question is, how possible is it to transition from a Big 4 Audit role with 4-5 years of experience to a corporate development/strategy role at a F500? Are any of the audit skills transferable? Is the Audit experience valuable?

Thanks!

12/13/10

harvardgrad08, thanks for this great thread -- it's very helpful.

I'll be joining the finance rotational program at a top 10 F500 firm next summer. It has very similar groups as to the ones you mentioned above (treasury, audit, profit forecasting, etc.). My question to you is: If I have a preference for one group over another, how do I politely convey this to HR? I think we get assigned to groups based on needs, but if I can throw my preferences at HR, I would much rather do that and end up in a group I'd like working in.

Thanks for the help!
-mkballer

MKballer

12/13/10

30. How many acquisitions have you seen through?

Well including the 6 month stint + the 7 or so months i've been in the group full-time I've probably evaluated at least a deal every week and have closed 4 deals.

31. My question is, how possible is it to transition from a Big 4 Audit role with 4-5 years of experience to a corporate development/strategy role at a F500? Are any of the audit skills transferable? Is the Audit experience valuable?

I've only seen people move into strategy teams from the consulting arms of big 4 firms (i.e. deloitte consulting) never from an audit role. I have seen a lot of people with varying kinds of big 4 experience (primarily transaction advisory) go into our M&A integration team (i.e. they do all the post-close integration work). Since I haven't done audit I can't really comment on how transferable or valuable those skills are.

32. I'll be joining the finance rotational program at a top 10 F500 firm next summer. It has very similar groups as to the ones you mentioned above (treasury, audit, profit forecasting, etc.). My question to you is: If I have a preference for one group over another, how do I politely convey this to HR? I think we get assigned to groups based on needs, but if I can throw my preferences at HR, I would much rather do that and end up in a group I'd like working in.

This is different at each company but at least where I worked analysts got to rank the available groups which gave you the ability to land one of your top choices and not end up in some bs group that you have no interest in. So i guess it'll depend on how your company manages the assignment process - I assume they give analysts some sort of ability to express their interests.

12/13/10

33. [question asked multiple times in private messages] Can you land a corpdev job straight out of undergrad? If so, which companies?

Getting into corpdev at a F500 from undergrad directly is pretty hard and practically impossible...most places want people with 1-2 years of banking or consulting experience. The only prestigious place i can think of is Disney's Corporate Business Developement & Strategy team...they usually hire 1 undergrad each year and only recruit at Harvard and Princeton (and occasionally Wharton undergrad). That team is known as being a future hollywood BSD training center. This team btw is a combined corpdev and corpstrat team.

Corporate strategy or divisional strategy teams at F500 sometimes here straight out of undergrad so look for those job posts on-campus or online.

12/13/10

This is a great post, much appreciated. Are there also intern possibilities for corp dev/ corp strat?

12/13/10

how often do you work from home?

is the culture in corpdev more collegial or "structured" in the sense that the majority of your colleagues go to work and go home?

what would you have done after your rotation program if you weren't placed into corpdev or strategy?

12/13/10

34. Are there also intern possibilities for corp dev/ corp strat?

Most companies offer MBA internships for corpdev and corpstrat teams. There are generally very limited corpdev/corpstrat internship opportunities for undergrads, however, with lots of networking it may be possible to secure something. We've had one undergrad in the past 4 years that did an internship with us and he was able to get it as his family is close friends with one of the C-level execs at our company.

35. How often do you work from home?

If I don't have any meetings scheduled that I need to be in the office for then I try to work from home which means that I work from home ~ once per week.

36. is the culture in corpdev more collegial or "structured" in the sense that the majority of your colleagues go to work and go home?

The culture is pretty laid back, however, you will find in a lot of corporate roles that people that have left banking, etc. left because they wanted to start a family, have a better lifestyle, etc. so most (even lots of the junior guys) are married which leads most to just come into the office and work and then go home to see their families. That said, those of us that aren't married go to the office then head out for dinner, drinks, clubbing, etc. - models & bottles still exist in this lifestyle :). Since our hours are good and getting vacations scheduled is pretty easy we make frequent weekend trips to Vegas to party, etc.

37. What would you have done after your rotation program if you weren't placed into corpdev or strategy?

I would have looked at moving into corpdev or strat at other companies and if that wasn't possible then I would have taken a corporate FP&A or treasury job until there was an opening in corpdev or strat that I could have networked my way into. On a side note, a friend of mine who also did a corpdev rotation wasn't sure there were going to be enough headcount openings to secure a job started to look outside of the company and he was able to get an offer for a corpdev/strat roles at other company and was also able to land a VC offer. In the end headcount was available and he took a job on one of our divisional strategy teams.

12/13/10

First off, great thread

I'm a senior about to graduate from an Ivy with an offer to join the corporate development team at an F500 Tech firm. I was wondering, in terms of exit opps, have you seen people leave from an analyst position in CorpDev to go to a bank or consulting be it middle market or BB?

12/13/10

38. I was wondering, in terms of exit opps, have you seen people leave from an analyst position in CorpDev to go to a bank or consulting be it middle market or BB?

It's definitely possible leave corpdev to go into banking or consulting but it doesn't tend to be the typical path; I've only seen a few people do it. The primary reason this isnt typical is because those in corpdev tend to come from those places initially and don't want to go back. Given that you have an offer to into corpdev directly from undergrad then it may be more possible for you to move into banking or consulting after 1-2 years...

The people that do leave to go into banking most of the time tend to be very senior folks...i.e. head of corpdev group leaving to go be an MD leading a banks industry group, etc.

12/13/10

What did you major in while at Harvard?

I win here, I win there...

12/13/10

39. What did you major in while at Harvard?

I did a triple concentration in Latin American Women of Suffolk, Bottle Service at Rumor, and Bumming Rides on Friends' Jets.

In all seriousness though...Econ.

12/13/10

I'm about to start full time at a financial leadership development program next year. Once I go through the program, will I be limited to my company's industry? Let's say I wanted to work in tech down the line, would I be able to lateral in from a non-tech company?

One of the greatest benefits I see in these development programs is the exposure to upper management and the accelerated pace they move you through the company. Do you see that advantage and accelerated pace staying with you after analysts finish the program? Is a lateral move to a different company shooting yourself in the foot if you've been given such a "prized status" at the original company?

Thanks! It's really great to hear from someone who has been very successful without going through banking.

12/13/10

40. Once I go through the program, will I be limited to my company's industry? Let's say I wanted to work in tech down the line, would I be able to lateral in from a non-tech company?

It will be easier for you to get jobs in the same industry, that said, the skills you will learn are very transferable to other indutries. I've seen various program analysts move from tech to other industries after a few years (I've seen them move into telecom, media & entertainment, and consumer/retail for example).

41. One of the greatest benefits I see in these development programs is the exposure to upper management and the accelerated pace they move you through the company. Do you see that advantage and accelerated pace staying with you after analysts finish the program?

You are spot in with your first statement...the best thing about these programs is the mgmt exposure, accelerated pace, and large network you develop. I have definitely seen these advantages continue after leaving the program. In all reality, all of these advantages help me do my job better than most of the analysts that came from banking since I have an unparralleled network at the company. For example, I know most of the strategy and M&A people in some of the other divisions...if we have a deal that could have synergies with other divisions I am quickly able to loop in people and get stuff done quickly while the other sr analysts/managers don't have the benefit of just being able to pick up the phone and call people. If I want to get data of some sort...i usually know who i need to get it from while my colleagues waste time trying to figure it out, etc. Plus the exec exposure is fantastic and has continued to help accelerate my career. Most of the banking hires don't have the benefit of having a personal relationship with most of the divisional CFOs, senior management teams, etc.

42. Is a lateral move to a different company shooting yourself in the foot if you've been given such a "prized status" at the original company?

You can definitely shoot yourself in the foot by moving over given the investment the company has made in you. One of the best things about being a program alum is the fact that if you are generally unhappy in your role you can reach out to the program's management and given their investment they will help look for other opportunities for you also it gives you some leverage if you get a competing offer to then go and see what the program's management can help you do internally to maybe match the offer, get you a promo, etc. This is something the banking hires don't have. At any rate, you can still leave at any time and if you manage it well you won't burn too many bridges.

12/14/10

Hey,

do most corporate development programs recruit out of MBA (or just headhunters/networking etc) and If they do, is it only people with banking experience ?

12/14/10

43. do most corporate development programs recruit out of MBA (or just headhunters/networking etc) and If they do, is it only people with banking experience ?

There are usually two entry points into corpdev:

a. Sr. Analyst/Manager Level - Usually requires 1-3 years of banking or consulting (as I've noted above my route is non-traditional and an exception). For these roles some companies use headhunters so you may be able to land something via a headhunter (for example, I know that Expedia's corpdev is notorious for using glocap); some don't use headhunters and just post their job openings online (own website, linkedin, simplyhired, etc.) so you can just apply through there (for example a quick look for jobs on linkedin and simplyhired a few minute ago shows corpdev job openings at the following major companies - Oracle, Cisco, Amazon, Microsoft, Visa, Thomson Reuters, Zynga, eBay, Juniper, Yahoo!, Home Depot, Pepsi, EA, Amgen, Warner Brothers, American Express, HP, Dell, Mattel, AOL, Internet Brands, Viacom, Nike, Disney Internet Group, McKesson, Adobe, Intuit, 3M, Honeywell, EMC, among others...and this was just for "corporate development" if you search for "corporate strategy" you'll see that there are just as many).

b. Manager/ Sr. Manager Level - Post-MBA position. For these most F500 recruit directly at top 10 MBA programs.

12/14/10

How large was your analyst class?

12/14/10

44. How large was your analyst class?

See my answer in question #19.

12/14/10

Really appreciate the post, harvardgrad08, very interesting

12/14/10

45. What steps would you recommend for someone that is looking to break into specifically Corporate Development/Corporate Strategy. Is an MBA the only route for this type of career change? I know that I will be successful in this field, but I have not been able to break in... yet.

An MBA is not the only route you can take but it will help significantly. If I were in your position, give your relationship with your bizdev team, I would propose to help them on future projects in addition to the work that you are doing in cost acct. Once you have worked on a few projects with them then you may be able to more easily break into corpdev.

12/14/10

Can you talk about corp strategy (background, exit, breaking in, etc); is it diff than corp dev? Sounds more like a dept that would hire management consultants (as corp dev is to bankers)

12/14/10

Can you also touch on getting into corp dev or strategy from a boutique or mm analyst position? I am assuming better chance with smaller public companies, right?

12/14/10

46. Can you talk about corp strategy (background, exit, breaking in, etc); is it diff than corp dev? Sounds more like a dept that would hire management consultants (as corp dev is to bankers)

Corporate strategy generally favors consultants, however, some companies will hire former bankers as well. Exits are generally very similar to corpdev both internally and externally. The major difference in internal exits being that most folks in corpdev try to move up the finance ladder and take positions that will set them up for CFO jobs while corpstrat folks tend to move into positions that allow them to climb the product management ladder which generally is more of a path to leading a business unit (i.e. CEO type track). Like I mentioned earlier, for external exits corpdev guys usually exit to MBA, lateral corpdev groups, VC, startup management, and management at other companies. For corpstrat it is similar except you see more folks going the startup & other company management tracks as opposed to VC (that being said it doesn't preclude you from moving into VC). Breaking into corpstrat is similar to corpdev...2 years at either consulting/bank, lateral move from another corpstrat at another company, or MBA. It's possible to also join internally from a leadership program as well but again requires you to network and be very proactive.

47. Can you also touch on getting into corp dev or strategy from a boutique or mm analyst position? I am assuming better chance with smaller public companies, right?

Obviously a top BB or prestigious boutique sets you up best to try and get these kinds of jobs, however, I've noticed that in all reality most corpdev groups, even at large F50 companies, have a sizable percentage of people from boutiques or MM firms - I assume this is because those at BB or prestigious boutiques tend to have more PE opportunities available to them. As long as you don't come from some random unknown firm you actually have a pretty decent chance of landing one of these jobs - the more you can demonstrate that you are passionate about and have an understanding of the industry, the company, its products, etc. the better chance you have.

In reply to harvardgrad08
12/14/10
harvardgrad08:

43. do most corporate development programs recruit out of MBA (or just headhunters/networking etc) and If they do, is it only people with banking experience ?

There are usually two entry points into corpdev:

a. Sr. Analyst/Manager Level - Usually requires 1-3 years of banking or consulting (as I've noted above my route is non-traditional and an exception). For these roles some companies use headhunters so you may be able to land something via a headhunter (for example, I know that Expedia's corpdev is notorious for using glocap); some don't use headhunters and just post their job openings online (own website, linkedin, simplyhired, etc.) so you can just apply through there (for example a quick look for jobs on linkedin and simplyhired a few minute ago shows corpdev job openings at the following major companies - Oracle, Cisco, Amazon, Microsoft, Visa, Thomson Reuters, Zynga, eBay, Juniper, Yahoo!, Home Depot, Pepsi, EA, Amgen, Warner Brothers, American Express, HP, Dell, Mattel, AOL, Internet Brands, Viacom, Nike, Disney Internet Group, McKesson, Adobe, Intuit, 3M, Honeywell, EMC, among others...and this was just for "corporate development" if you search for "corporate strategy" you'll see that there are just as many).

b. Manager/ Sr. Manager Level - Post-MBA position. For these most F500 recruit directly at top 10 MBA programs.

Does the post MBA position require bankin experience though ? I.e. could an accountant get an mba and then move to CD.

thanks

12/15/10

48. Does the post MBA position require banking experience though ? I.e. could an accountant get an mba and then move to CD.

No it doesn't require banking experience, however, banking experience obviously help. I have seen people with engineering work experience, accounting, etc., go into corpdev after their MBA.

12/15/10

great thread harvardgrad08! representing all of us internal bankers!

my background is actually quite similar to harvardgrad08's I graduated from Wharton undergrad in 2007, went to a F50 FLDP and now work in strategy & corporate development. I agree with pretty much everything harvard has said...although comp in my industry is lower than tech. :) I have a couple of friends doing tech corpdev as well and they all tell me the same things that harvard has said...so kudos harvardgrad SB for you.

12/15/10

What was your path? Where did you end up out of the program?

12/15/10

harvardgrad08 -

...I've got a couple of questions about the top level MARKETING executives at your company. #1) Do they ever make it into the million dollar pay bracket? #2) What is their typical background? (consulting to MBA, I'm assuming).

Thank you very much for taking the time to help out like this. If you're not all that familiar with the marketing arm of your company, no worries.

Best,

Jim

12/15/10

Does your company sponsor MBAs for those in corp dev? Do most/any firms? If so, when/how does that take place? (Like after your 2 "associate" years or what.)

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12/15/10

49. I've got a couple of questions about the top level MARKETING executives at your company. a.) Do they ever make it into the million dollar pay bracket? b.) What is their typical background? (consulting to MBA, I'm assuming).

a. The pay scale I posted for question #18 applies to all non-engineering jobs (including marketing). So to answer your question - yes. Obviously this will vary by industry, consumer/retail and tech marketers make a lot more than say the top marketing execs at a semiconductor company.

b. Most of the ones I've seen have either a consulting background or an industry sales or marketing background - meaning they started off in the industry and have climbed the ladder.

50. Does your company sponsor MBAs for those in corp dev? Do most/any firms? If so, when/how does that take place? (Like after your 2 "associate" years or what.)

This obviously varies by company. In general I have seen that most will pay for an MBA for people that they consider to be rockstars and have the potential to be future c-level execs at the company with the caveat that you come back and work at the company for 3 years, etc. In terms of timing, I would say it they will generally do it for people with 4-7 years of experience. Additionally, most places (at least in tech) offer a decent amount of tuition reimbursement (can range from 5-15K/year) so I've seen a lot of people pursue part-time degrees at Berkeley, Stanford, or other local schools over the course of 3 years or so which gives them the ability to have most of their degree covered by the tuition reimbursement program. Lastly, again speaking just for tech since that is the industry I know, most MBA hires are giving a large signing bonus that usually covers their 2nd year of MBA...which is also a pretty good deal.

12/15/10

What was your path? Where did you end up out of the program?

After the FLPD I took a job on a market intelligence team for about 1 year. Then when there was an opening on our strategy & corporate development team I interviewed and got the job. During one of my rotations in the program I had worked with 2 people on the team and kept in touch with them. They liked my work during that project and allowed me to interview for the job which I subsequently landed.

12/16/10
12/17/10

hey so i was wondering.

1) do you have to be at a firms head office ? (i.e. does corporate development operate out of regional offices or is it usually at the firms head quarters ?

2) I always hear that in corporate development you could be stuck in the same position for years. (i.e. in banking you either get promoted or leave, there is no middle ground, while in corporate development it takes much much longer to climb the ranks ? Is this true ?

12/17/10

51. Do you have to be at a firms head office ? (i.e. does corporate development operate out of regional offices or is it usually at the firms head quarters ?

This totally depends on the company. I've usually seen 3 standard operating model:
a. The entire corpdev team is located at HQ.
b. Most of the team is located at HQ with maybe 1-2 person at each of the regional HQs in EMEA and Asia-Pacific.
c. The team is completely spread out across multile geos. A few folks at HQ (assuming in this case that its not NYC, SF, BOS, CHI), a few in NYC, a few in SF, a few folks in other cities (Boston, Chicago, etc.), a few at each of the regional HQs.

I would say though that a and b are the most prevalent. c is not that common but I've seen it at a few companies.

52. I always hear that in corporate development you could be stuck in the same position for years. (i.e. in banking you either get promoted or leave, there is no middle ground, while in corporate development it takes much much longer to climb the ranks ? Is this true ?

Again totally depends on the company...before I delve into the promotion velocity question let me set up the structure of most corpdev (as a caveat titles vary):
- Sr. Analyst / Manager (post 2 years IBD)
- Sr. Manager
- Director / Sr. Director
- MD / GM / VP (i.e. head of group)

I've generally seen that people move pretty quickly through the first two pieces of the structure - around 1-2 years in each (i.e. 1 year as sr. analyst, then 2 years as manager, then 2 years as sr. manager). The place where you can get "stuck" is usually at the director/sr. director level. Once you are there your prospects are really to wait it out until the head of the group decides to leave and try to get the promo, lateral to another smaller company where you could be head of corpdev, move into a junior exec non-corpdev role in another part of the company basically putting you into more of a CFO path, move to a smaller company in an executive type role, move to VC/PE usually at the VP or principal level. That said, if you are at the director/sr director level you are usually pulling in on somewhere around $300-500K all in comp (usually base is ~$180-200K, bonus of ~40-50%, stock options of ~ $100-350K) so it's still a pretty cushy job in terms of comp to work (40 hr weeks) ratio. One of the directors in my group, for example, works 7am-3pm every day of which 1-2 days a week he works from home, pulled in ~$420K last year, is very well respected by the company's c-level execs, and spends his afternoons coaching competitive soccer and spending time with his family, etc. (i.e. so even if you top out around that level and have to wait years to move up it's still not a bad gig).

12/17/10

Hey harvardgrad08, thanks for the great topic. It really clears up some misconceptions about F500 corporate finance that I had beforehand. Here's my question - I'm a finance/accounting major, a junior at a non-Ivy target and not too interested in investment banking. Between the work-life tradeoff and the fact that I really want to work closer to the technology (I wanted to be an engineer as a kid), I feel like I'd be better off in a corp fin role at a large tech company. Ideally, I'd actually want to work at Tesla. My question is, what are some ways to really try to get a jumpstart right into a corpdev type of role? Is networking really the only way?

Also, this might be an odd question, but do you enjoy what you do? I know so many people go into banking really for the exit ops, but is corpdev something you could see yourself doing for years?

12/17/10

53. I'm a finance/accounting major, a junior at a non-Ivy target and not too interested in investment banking. Between the work-life tradeoff and the fact that I really want to work closer to the technology (I wanted to be an engineer as a kid), I feel like I'd be better off in a corp fin role at a large tech company. Ideally, I'd actually want to work at Tesla. My question is, what are some ways to really try to get a jumpstart right into a corpdev type of role? Is networking really the only way?

Keep checking job sites like linkedin or simply hired and for corpdev job posting and apply...sometimes even without the banking experience that some require you may be able to land an interview. Other than that networking is really the only way to land one of thes jobs out of undergrad. You could also try to follow a path similar to mine (finance leadership program -> corpdev).

54. Also, this might be an odd question, but do you enjoy what you do? I know so many people go into banking really for the exit ops, but is corpdev something you could see yourself doing for years?

I love what I do. I get to work on exciting and high visibility projects, I love the fact that I am in the driver's seat - I get to identify interesting opportunities, present them to the senior leaders of the firm, and then make them happen. I could definitely see myself doing this kind of work at least for the next few years. However, I would eventually want to move to other areas of corp finance in order to learn other skills that will set me up well to eventually become a CFO.

12/19/10

Thanks for the response. I was looking at the IB subforum and there's a thread by someone whose staffer is making him work the 24th. In most internal corp fin roles are holidays recognized and given as days off?

12/19/10

55. In most internal corp fin roles are holidays recognized and given as days off?

Yes. Most corpdev groups follow the vacation & holiday schedule of their company. At most F500 you get anywhere from 3-4 weeks of vacation + sick days + 8-10 holidays. As long as you give enought notice you can usually take vacation whenever you want.

12/20/10

Harvardgrad08 thank you for this great thread, it is very informative! Post MBA, I am trying to weigh the pros and cons of doing consulting (MBB) then moving to corp strat at F500 vs. going straight into a corp strat group at a F500. Do people who come into a corp strat group from consulting tend to leap frog to more senior positions within a group in a shorter amount of time than guys who are moving up internally? I'm guessing this varies on a case by case basis, but I'm wondering if you have seen any trends on this? Thanks for your help!

12/21/10

How are the interviews like? Thanks for all the information Havardgrad08.

12/22/10

56. Post MBA, I am trying to weigh the pros and cons of doing consulting (MBB) then moving to corp strat at F500 vs. going straight into a corp strat group at a F500. Do people who come into a corp strat group from consulting tend to leap frog to more senior positions within a group in a shorter amount of time than guys who are moving up internally?

Like you said this will depend on each company. At my company, it is rather rare for our corpstrat team to make any consulting hires since the main hiring point seems to be at the post-MBA level. Those hired tend to have very quick velocity (generally faster than most employees across the company). For the most part these hires are promoted to positions that would normally be filled with consultant hires as opposed to hiring externally. The rare more senior consulting MBB hires that do come in, from what I've seen, tend to have a slightly slower promotion velocity. I don't think you can go wrong either way. I honestly think my company is an exception since we generally dont hire anything other than post-MBAs for corpstrat. So you may be better off going to consulting and moving into corpstrat later since most companies would definitely hire at the director+ level for someone post-MBA with a few years of MBB under their belt.

57. How are the interviews like?

We generally have a 1-2 phone screens for candidates. These tend to be both technical and fit. Then we bring in candidates for a super day where they have anywhere from 4-7 interviews in a day...again a mix of both types of questions. The process is very similar to banking. However, even if it is for corpdev you will probably get some industry questions, cases, etc. just to gauge your knowledge of the industry or space that the company operates in.

12/22/10

Thanks for the quick response. As a follow-up question, if I am currently working as an analyst in an coverage group at a BB but ultimately want to move into another industry in a corporate development role after my program is over, would I still be expected to know a lot about that industry, or would interviews/recruiting focus more on my financial knowledge instead?

Thanks once again, this is a great topic.

12/22/10

Does CS/CD put heavy emphasis on GPA & coming from Ivy league/Target schools like IBD and Consulting does?

"Do whatever it takes to keep the legend of Wall Street as it was truly intended live on. When you think back on investment banking of the early 21st century, remember the heat--remember the passion. But mostly, remember the titans. " - LSO

12/23/10

58. if I am currently working as an analyst in an coverage group at a BB but ultimately want to move into another industry in a corporate development role after my program is over, would I still be expected to know a lot about that industry, or would interviews/recruiting focus more on my financial knowledge instead?

Interviews/recruiting would focus primarily on your financial knowledge, etc. They want to make sure you can do the work. Having the industry background is very helpful and being in a coverage group for that specific industry would open more doors for that industry. If however you are able to show some basic knowledge and lots of passion for the industry then you could definitely land a job in an industry outside your coverage group. That said, most of the hires i've seen (for my company at least) have either come from an M&A group or have come from the specific industry coverage group. I've very rarely seen a healthcare banker, for example, move into tech corpdev, etc.

59. Does CS/CD put heavy emphasis on GPA & coming from Ivy league/Target schools like IBD and Consulting does?

Les emphasis is placed on academic background and a lot more of the focus is on work experience, fit, career goals (i.e. why CS/CD, etc.) as generally most of these groups recruit people with a few years of experience at top BB, boutiques, or MBB consulting (i.e. since most are coming from these types of jobs then the academic background was pretty much already "vetted" - if you landed one of these jobs then you probably had a pretty solid academic background).

12/26/10

harvardgrad08,

This has been an incredibly informative thread (I just took the time to read through the whole thing). Gives some great perspective on a very large and very appealing job market that is difficult to research. To the extent you're still responding to questions, I am a bit confused about how you addressed compensation. You said that a Director/Sr. Director generally makes $100-$350k in stock options. I'm assuming the company you work for is public and therefore all stock options granted must be priced at / above the stock price on the day the options were issued. Given this, how are you able to assign a dollar value to the stock options?

Did you mean to say that the company offers stock grants --- aka: free shares of the company's stock (that typically come with a time-based vesting schedule)? Stock grants can have actual values attached to them, for example: If you worked at Google you could be granted 500 shares that vest 20% per year. If not I'm still confused and would love some clarification!

Thanks again -- I shared this thread with a few people I know that are looking to get into Corp. Dev.

CompBanker

12/27/10

Hey harvardgrad08,

Many thanks for this great thread...This info. has been extremely helpful.
I would best describe myself as a rather confused MBA Applicant. I currently work in KPMG's Mgt Consulting Division (Performance & Technology) and would have been there for roughly 22months by the time I plan to start my MBA in Wharton in 2011.
I genuinely love finance and modelling but I've discovered I don't love it enough to work 100hrs a week, lose my girlfriend, family and friends and watch my health deteriorate all for a fat pay check.

In the light of this, I have three questions.

(1) Given my background ~2yrs (22months by August 2011) in Consulting + the MBA from Wharton I hope to get, do you think AS AN INTERNATIONAL STUDENT, I could land a high paying Corp Dev job as a Manager in a TOP company (e.g CISCO, Google etc) right after my MBA without having to suffer on Wall Street for a couple of years?

(2) How feasible is VC as an exit opp if u've done Corp Dev...Does it happen frequently?,

(3) I'd ultimately like to start my own enterpreneurial venture...In your opinion, does this happen in the Corp Dev world or do folks just rise up the corporate ladder, grow old, retire and die?

Thanks in advance pal !!!

12/27/10

Harvardgrad08,

You are awesome for doing this. I just have two quick questions:

1. In terms of internal career advancement within corp. dev within the shortest amount of time, would you recommend going into banking in an M&A group (2years) --> corp. dev as a senior analyst --> MBA --> Manager/Senior Manager back into corp dev? Or would you recommend banking in an M&A group (2years) --> MBA --> Manager/Senior Manager? What are the pros and cons of both?

2. Is the path to CFO from Corp. Dev. more common than the other finance departments

Would really appreciate any insight you have

12/27/10

Sorry to deviate off topic, but are you in at Wharton with 22 months of work experience at a big 4 / is there something here that I am missing??

12/27/10

Run for Run...yep you should be sorry for UNNECESSARILY deviating off topic....If you had bothered to pay attention to detail...you would have seen that one of my first statements was that: "I am a rather confused MBA APPLICANT"...Key word: APPLICANT

My 22 months at KPMG is the portion of experience that I feel would be relevant for my desired Corp Dev role POST MBA....Doesen't mean thats all the work exp I have...Will have approx 4yrs WE by Aug 2011. I'm not in at Wharton yet. Will submit my app by the round 2 deadline in just over a week.

In the event you have any other potentially deviating questions or advice or still think I'm not good enough for Wharton, stating your case via a PM would be much more appropriate...cheers

12/27/10

Relax COKER, maybe you should demonstrate a bit more clarity in your posts -- one statement implies you're an applicant, the other implies you're in at Wharton. CLARITY my friend.

In reply to JimBeam69
12/27/10
COKERDI:

I was built to be the best, Number One and nothing less!!!

Sorry to deviate off topic, but..... baaaaahahahahahaha.

12/27/10

Hey Hgrad, I gotta another question:

Let's say that you don't qualify for banking or top shop strat consulting right out of undergrad (and thus probably don't qualify for corp dev at top companies right off the bat either). Are there any other areas such as public accounting or even plain old vanilla financial analysis at a large/medium cap company that would give relevant skills for corp dev and would allow one to make the jump later? Its gonna be tough for me to get into i-banking/consulting, but if I get some experience in a big 4 accounting firm with a CA/CPA or just start in regular financial analyst and get an MBA, is it possible to move to corp dev after that?

Pretty women make us BUY beer. Ugly women make us DRINK beer.

12/28/10

60. I am a bit confused about how you addressed compensation. You said that a Director/Sr. Director generally makes $100-$350k in stock options. I'm assuming the company you work for is public and therefore all stock options granted must be priced at / above the stock price on the day the options were issued. Given this, how are you able to assign a dollar value to the stock option? Did you mean to say that the company offers stock grants --- aka: free shares of the company's stock (that typically come with a time-based vesting schedule)? Stock grants can have actual values attached to them, for example: If you worked at Google you could be granted 500 shares that vest 20% per year. If not I'm still confused and would love some clarification!

So i was a bit vague on the stock comp portion as the type of plan my company has might reveal where I work :). That said, there are generally a few types of stock comp programs I've seen: 1. pure options where you are given a certain number of shares with a certain strike price (i.e. you get 1,000 shares with a strike price of $5.00 but the company's stock is currently worth $10.00 and you have a certain lock out period - some have a certain kind of vest schedule). 2. stock grants as you called out where you are given X number of shares that vest over a certain period of time (therefore you can calc total $ from the share price despite the fact that you cant touch them until they vest). 3. stock awards where you are given a certain $ amount in stock comp and then the company uses that awarded amount to purchase shares on the given date of the award but then these also have a vesting schedule (i.e. you are granted $250,000 in stock award...the stock price is $15 on the award date and therefore you are given 16,667 shares which then vest over whatever designated vesting period meaning you cant really sell those shares until they vest). Hopefully that clears things up.

61. Given my background ~2yrs (22months by August 2011) in Consulting + the MBA from Wharton I hope to get, do you think AS AN INTERNATIONAL STUDENT, I could land a high paying Corp Dev job as a Manager in a TOP company (e.g CISCO, Google etc) right after my MBA without having to suffer on Wall Street for a couple of years?

Management Consulting + top tier MBA would definitely help in landing a CD job. Most post-MBA CD hires that I've seen come from banking, consulting, VC, PE, or engineering backgrounds (this is probably baised on my side though since I'm in tech). Try to get an IBD internship while at your MBA so that you can prove that you have some good deal experience, particularly if your consulting engagements haven't been deal oriented.

62. How feasible is VC as an exit opp if u've done Corp Dev...Does it happen frequently?

VC is very feasible and is probably one of the most frequent exits. From conversations I've had with VCs (and also from just looking at associate/principal backgrounds on major VC firm websites) I've come to realize that VCs prefer to hire industry people and/or consultants as opposed to bankers as most of the work they do is not on the investment/deal piece (where a banker would be quite useful)...most of the work comes in adding value to your portfolio companies, etc. where deep industry and strategy knowledge is much more helpful than just dealmaking experience. CD folks usually also do a fair amount of strategy work at a lot of companies and also develop quite deep industry knowledge & contacts (also very beneficial for portfolio companies) - hence CD folks are quite attractive as they can usually easily handle the deal + post-deal portfolio co work and also have deep industry knowledge and contacts.

63. I'd ultimately like to start my own enterpreneurial venture...In your opinion, does this happen in the Corp Dev world or do folks just rise up the corporate ladder, grow old, retire and die?

As I've mentioned in prior responses - the startup world is also a very common exit for CD folks. I've seen various folks move into management roles at startups and/or start their own companies.

64.In terms of internal career advancement within corp. dev within the shortest amount of time, would you recommend going into banking in an M&A group (2years) --> corp. dev as a senior analyst --> MBA --> Manager/Senior Manager back into corp dev? Or would you recommend banking in an M&A group (2years) --> MBA --> Manager/Senior Manager? What are the pros and cons of both?

In all reality I would say that in path #1 you are actually pretty unlikely to go and leave for an MBA (if you are good). If you perform well and get promoted you can quickly get promoted to post-MBA roles which make going back to MBA less and less attractive. If you are dead set on an MBA I would go with path #2 (IBD to MBA to CD) as that way you actually get your MBA and then move up quickly in CD post grad - I would say though that if you are good and are not set on an MBA path #1 may provide you the opportunity to get to a higher level more quickly than just going from IBD to MBA to CD.

65. Is the path to CFO from Corp. Dev. more common than the other finance departments.

Again as I mentioned in this thread and in a few others at most F500 companies the CFO tends to come from more of an FP&A background since the vast majority of the work a CFO does revolves around FP&A, treasury, tax, investor relations, etc. and less around strategy and M&A (these usually take up very little of a CFOs time). That said, in my opinion FP&A at the junior levels is quite boring and the promotion velocity is slow compared to CD/CS... you will see that a good amount of former CD folks that are now CFOs have taken the following path - go into CD move up rapidly and then transition to more senior FP&A roles where the job is a bit more interesting and they have a bit more decision making power. At my company, for example, a few of the current divisional CFOs (who are really young) started in CD where they were promoted rapidly then moved into FP&A and then got promoted a few times tor reach CFO.

66. Let's say that you don't qualify for banking or top shop strat consulting right out of undergrad (and thus probably don't qualify for corp dev at top companies right off the bat either). Are there any other areas such as public accounting or even plain old vanilla financial analysis at a large/medium cap company that would give relevant skills for corp dev and would allow one to make the jump later? Its gonna be tough for me to get into i-banking/consulting, but if I get some experience in a big 4 accounting firm with a CA/CPA or just start in regular financial analyst and get an MBA, is it possible to move to corp dev after that?

I would say the best path, if you can't get into banking, consulting, or corpdev directly, would be to go into a F500 analyst type role where you are focused on competitive intelligence, FP&A, etc. where you may get to occasionally interact with the CD team....if you make a name for yourself and network you could possibly try to move into CD after a few years...if not then this experience may still be good enough to get you into a decent MBA program which then could set you up to get into CD post graduation.

12/28/10

Thanks Harvard Grad,
Quick additional question.
A company like Cisco Systems apparently has MBA Internship opportunities in its Corp Dev department; I assume other tech companies may also have such opportunities.
Do you think it would make more sense to pursue an IBD Internship as opposed to a Corp Dev Internship during the summer?
Which do you think would carry more weight when it comes to recruiting for full time Corp Dev Positions?

12/28/10

Hgrad, I'm curious as to why FP&A is considered to be more boring? Is it just because most of the work at the entry level is mostly accounting or does it not have any relevant skills to any besides just FP&A positions? Also, why is the senior level work in FP&A markedly more interesting relative to other finance divisions and their senior analysts?

12/29/10

67. A company like Cisco Systems apparently has MBA Internship opportunities in its Corp Dev department; I assume other tech companies may also have such opportunities.Do you think it would make more sense to pursue an IBD Internship as opposed to a Corp Dev Internship during the summer? Which do you think would carry more weight when it comes to recruiting for full time Corp Dev Positions?

Both would help to land a CD job...if you are dead set on CD after your MBA then a CD internship which leads to a CD FT job may be a safer path. That said, an IBD internship can also very easily translate to CD.

68. I'm curious as to why FP&A is considered to be more boring? Is it just because most of the work at the entry level is mostly accounting or does it not have any relevant skills to any besides just FP&A positions? Also, why is the senior level work in FP&A markedly more interesting relative to other finance divisions and their senior analysts?

I would that for most people who are looking at CD/CS jobs (where the work is more focused on whitespace analysis, investment analysis, deals, long term strategic thinking, etc.) tend to find FP&A work at the junior levels boring because it mainly revolves around reporting performance (i.e. this quarter we missed budget by x% because of x,y,z), setting budgets & targets, forecasting, etc. It is generally quite simple work that doesn't get as much visibility to senior management. For example, at a place like Google, Cisco, Oracle, Microsoft, etc. the even the junior CD/CS guys are in meetings with the most senior leaders - presenting, helping to think through strategic issues, etc. helping to frame up decisions, etc. while the junior FP&A guys will probably never be in a meeting with Eric Schmidt, Larry Ellison, Steve Ballmer, etc. The senior level work in FP&A is generally more interesting because you have full P&L responbility for a certain product or group or division, etc. You are the one making decisions, supporting the senior leaders in your division, helping to think through some strategic issues, etc.

In reply to harvardgrad08
12/29/10
harvardgrad08:

67. A company like Cisco Systems apparently has MBA Internship opportunities in its Corp Dev department; I assume other tech companies may also have such opportunities.Do you think it would make more sense to pursue an IBD Internship as opposed to a Corp Dev Internship during the summer? Which do you think would carry more weight when it comes to recruiting for full time Corp Dev Positions?

Both would help to land a CD job...if you are dead set on CD after your MBA then a CD internship which leads to a CD FT job may be a safer path. That said, an IBD internship can also very easily translate to CD.

68. I'm curious as to why FP&A is considered to be more boring? Is it just because most of the work at the entry level is mostly accounting or does it not have any relevant skills to any besides just FP&A positions? Also, why is the senior level work in FP&A markedly more interesting relative to other finance divisions and their senior analysts?

I would that for most people who are looking at CD/CS jobs (where the work is more focused on whitespace analysis, investment analysis, deals, long term strategic thinking, etc.) tend to find FP&A work at the junior levels boring because it mainly revolves around reporting performance (i.e. this quarter we missed budget by x% because of x,y,z), setting budgets & targets, forecasting, etc. It is generally quite simple work that doesn't get as much visibility to senior management. For example, at a place like Google, Cisco, Oracle, Microsoft, etc. the even the junior CD/CS guys are in meetings with the most senior leaders - presenting, helping to think through strategic issues, etc. helping to frame up decisions, etc. while the junior FP&A guys will probably never be in a meeting with Eric Schmidt, Larry Ellison, Steve Ballmer, etc. The senior level work in FP&A is generally more interesting because you have full P&L responbility for a certain product or group or division, etc. You are the one making decisions, supporting the senior leaders in your division, helping to think through some strategic issues, etc.

OK, so I take it then that even FP&A DOES eventually turn into strategic work then? The reason I got confused is because I always thought that no matter what job you do, entry level work is going to suck and will mostly be monkey work. For example, even in corp dev/strategy, I'd still bet that, while they may sit in board rooms with the big shots, their job on the team will be more elementary and involve doing the research, data gathering, etc. and will play a smaller role than seniors in the strategic vision (I may be wrong though). That's why I'm surprised that people will hate FP&A entry more than corp dev entry since I thought entry level work was universally hated. However, I just want to make sure, because I, like Immelt, am concerned about breaking into corp dev, that even FP&A eventually becomes strategy/more interesting since I don't think I could bear to just do reporting/simple grunt work for the rest of my life and would need some sort of mental stimulation.

1/3/11

Homeboys,

scroll to the bottom og this page and read the PDF file. Its solid.
http://www.deloitte.com/view/en_US/us/Services/Fin...

1/3/11

i'll agree that fp&a at the entry level is pretty boring...trust me

1/3/11

harvardgrad, mad props on all the time you've put in here. +5 SB's

If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses - Henry Ford

In reply to dublin
1/3/11
dublin:

i'll agree that fp&a at the entry level is pretty boring...trust me

Yeah, but I think what Anal Analyst was trying to say is that, since most of the other jobs are boring or marginally more interesting at best, is it that bad to start in FP&A, especially if they eventually do more strategic/decision-making work later on anyway?

Pretty women make us BUY beer. Ugly women make us DRINK beer.

1/3/11

That's a fair point, but from my experience, it really doesn't seem like a place to go if you want to advance and take on more responsibility/more interesting work. In my group and others like it, you're talking a slow climb over at least 6-8 years before you start doing anything strategic (aka interesting).

1/3/11

I have 2 quick questions:
-When does recruiting for corpdev/strat take place for ib analysts? Is there a typical timeframe like in PE?
- I am in a real estate IB group at a BB, are there any companies which would value real estate transaction experience? I realize tmt would prob feed better into a tech company, but are different industry groups at a significant disadvantage?

Thanks!

1/10/11

sorry for the lack of responses...I've been traveling and on vacation. 3 weeks off...who can do that in banking? :)

69. OK, so I take it then that even FP&A DOES eventually turn into strategic work then? The reason I got confused is because I always thought that no matter what job you do, entry level work is going to suck and will mostly be monkey work. For example, even in corp dev/strategy, I'd still bet that, while they may sit in board rooms with the big shots, their job on the team will be more elementary and involve doing the research, data gathering, etc. and will play a smaller role than seniors in the strategic vision (I may be wrong though). That's why I'm surprised that people will hate FP&A entry more than corp dev entry since I thought entry level work was universally hated. However, I just want to make sure, because I, like Immelt, am concerned about breaking into corp dev, that even FP&A eventually becomes strategy/more interesting since I don't think I could bear to just do reporting/simple grunt work for the rest of my life and would need some sort of mental stimulation.

So yes FP&A work at the higher levels will have more of a strategic component - more of a decision support function in that you are helping with analyses, etc. for strategic decisions. That said you are still probably not in the driver's seat. The thing about entry level work in FP&A vs. CD/CS is that it is just so much less interesting. In CD/CS the grunt work you are doing is helping to identify target companies, helping to analyze new markets to go into, etc, etc. while in FP&A you are just putting together reports that say that your division missed budget by 5% or $1M because sales in Japan sucked this quarter because of X,Y,Z, etc.

70. since most of the other jobs are boring or marginally more interesting at best, is it that bad to start in FP&A, especially if they eventually do more strategic/decision-making work later on anyway?

It is not bad to start in FP&A at a F500 as it does eventually become more strategic, etc. That said I've noticed that the climb in FP&A is significantly longer than in CD/CS since your work has less visibility. When you are in CD/CS and the CEO & CFO are actually seeing your work you will have a better chance of getting promoted compared to the FP&A guy at your same level who's work is buried so deep in the org that sr execs dont notice it.

71. That's a fair point, but from my experience, it really doesn't seem like a place to go if you want to advance and take on more responsibility/more interesting work. In my group and others like it, you're talking a slow climb over at least 6-8 years before you start doing anything strategic (aka interesting).

totally agree. see comment #70.

72. When does recruiting for corpdev/strat take place for ib analysts? Is there a typical timeframe like in PE?

Companies generally start posting stuff in Feb-Apr hoping to hire a person finishing their second year in early summer.

73. I am in a real estate IB group at a BB, are there any companies which would value real estate transaction experience? I realize tmt would prob feed better into a tech company, but are different industry groups at a significant disadvantage?

Generally companies look for analysts with experience in their relevant areas. However, if you are smart and can prove that you have a genuine interest in the industry then you could probably make the jump. It will be slightly harder than if you were in an industry group or a pure M&A group.

1/11/11

Harvard Grad, I have a particularly unique situation that I wanted to get your advice on. I sent will send you a pm.

Thanks for doing this!

1/12/11

If you were to join FP&A as an analyst (which I assume comes after 2 years of IB or rotation program etc.), what is compensation like? I'm guessing lower than Corp Dev?
Also are hours similar to corp dev? More, less?

I've been looking on some companies' sites, and noticed you can get FP&A analyst jobs all around the world. Seems like that might be fun for a couple of years--does corp dev have any opportunities like this? And would you get a similar experience taking an FP&A analyst job in, say, Argentina (anywhere really), as the US?

Last one- Are "Sr. financial analysts" people that come in after 2 years of experience (IB, rotational, etc) while "financial analysts" are just out of ugrad? I'm seeing both on glassdoor.

Sorry for all the Qs in one post. Really appreciate the thread though.

1/12/11

74. If you were to join FP&A as an analyst (which I assume comes after 2 years of IB or rotation program etc.), what is compensation like? I'm guessing lower than Corp Dev?
Also are hours similar to corp dev? More, less?

You can join as an FP&A analyst with 0 years of experience - directly from undergrad. Those with 2 years experience are likely sr analysts / associates / managers. For a 1st year FP&A analyst you can expect total comp to be lower than 1st year corpdev / rotation program. Usually base salary is similar in range for all of these groups for a 1st year anywhere from $45k - 75K depending on the company / industry / location. Where corpdev analysts make more is usually in bonus and stock - at least this is the case at my company and at some of my friend's other tech companies. A 1st year corpdev analyst will get say 20% bonus + $10-20K worth of stock comp while an FP&A analyst might get 10% bonus and $5-10K of stock. Again this depends by company / industry / etc. Hours for FP&A are more of your typical 9-5 job...with maybe 1 week a month (during close) when you may work 60 hours instead of 40 hours / week.

75. I've been looking on some companies' sites, and noticed you can get FP&A analyst jobs all around the world. Seems like that might be fun for a couple of years--does corp dev have any opportunities like this? And would you get a similar experience taking an FP&A analyst job in, say, Argentina (anywhere really), as the US?

As I've mentioned before most companies have their corpdev orgs centralized at their headquarters so generally there are very limited international corpdev jobs at american based companies. That said you could always try to get a corpdev job at a non-US based firm. With regards to FP&A jobs, you would probably get a very similar experience at a company's international subsidiary compared to its HQ. The type of work would be very similar except you would probably be looking at a much smaller budget, revenue and the targets, forecasts, etc. will be given to you by corporate and you will have to further set your subsidiary's targets based on what you've been able to secure from corporate.

76. Are "Sr. financial analysts" people that come in after 2 years of experience (IB, rotational, etc) while "financial analysts" are just out of ugrad? I'm seeing both on glassdoor.

It depends on the company usually sr. financial analysts are what would be considered 3 year analysts (ie two years of banking, rotational, etc). Some companies instead of using sr analyst title will use an associate title or a manager title.

1/16/11

Deleted - noob/annoying question

2/4/11

Any idea on when corp's do their recruiting for finance intern positions?
In other words, is it too late?

3/6/11

Thanks for all the posting harvardgrad 08. I got a quick question for you:

I was fortunate and lucky enough to land a Corp Dev Internship/Summer Analyst at a big AM. I also am waiting to hear back from a bulge bracket for IBD. What do you think is better as an internship. I know the IB track may lead to FT but it seems that a Corp Dev internship could mean less pitch books and more of the other stuff.

3/21/11

sorry I've been away for awhile...

77. Any idea on when corp's do their recruiting for finance intern positions? In other words, is it too late?

Most F500 follow a similar schedule for UG recruiting as the banks and consulting firms. So intern recruiting usually happens in Jan-Mar.

78. RuRookie - I answered your PM.

3/21/11

Hey harvardgrad. Just wondering if you know how the transition works from management consulting into corporate strategy. I'm currently a senior consultant at a 2nd tier firm, but (at the risk of sounding cocky) i'm kicking ass here and really impressing the partners I report to. I'm on a pretty accelerated track and should be manager in 18 months. I'm having some serious second thoughts about trying to go all the way to partner, and I'm really getting interested in corporate strategy. just wanted to hear your thoughts on the track I might get on if i switch over to corporate strategy after getting the manager title at my current firm. Can corp strat also lead to CEO the way corp dev does? What type of salaries could I expect at the time of transition and what is the growth like? To give you an idea, I'm making roughly 120K all in and should easily hit 160K in a couple of years when I'm ready to make the move. Thanks again.

-MBP

3/23/11

You've answered how going from FP&A to more strategic and senior FP&A roles or CorpDev will be, but what about F100 companies that have Strategic Planning groups separate from Corporate Strategy? How difficult would that transition be? Amex, for example, has one group that does both CorpStrat and Strategic Planning, but Liberty Mutual has strategic planning groups for each of their lines of businesses, which is beneath their overarching Corporate Strategy group. Thanks in advance for your reply.

3/23/11

79. Just wondering if you know how the transition works from management consulting into corporate strategy. Just wanted to hear your thoughts on the track I might get on if i switch over to corporate strategy after getting the manager title at my current firm. Can corp strat also lead to CEO the way corp dev does? What type of salaries could I expect at the time of transition and what is the growth like?

So to answer the first part, most corp strat employees come from managing consulting. There are usually 3 entry points: 1) sr analyst /manager which usually comes after 2-3 years at a consulting firm; 2) manager/sr manager which is usually a post-MBA role; and 3) sr manager+ which is usually an experienced hire. Not sure what level a "manager" is at your firm but for the purposes of answering your question I will assume its more like an "engagement manager/associate principal" type role at McKinsey or "case team leader/manager" at Bain. Assuming this is correct then you'd probably fall into the experienced hire group and come in somewhere around a group manager or director type level at at F500 company. Which puts you on a good track to achieve the equivalent of a partner level (can be called MD, GM, VP, etc.) at a F500 within ~5-10 years. I would say that CorpStrat put you on more of a CEO path than CorpDev. From a total comp perspective (salary + cash bonus + stock) and growth you can expect something like the following:

- C-Level Executives (top 20 or so people at the company): total comp $5M+/year
- VPs: total comp ~$2-5M/year (at least 4-5 years but some cap out here)
- General Managers/Managing Directors: ~$500K-$2M/year (at least 2-3 yrs but some cap out here)
- Sr. Director/Director: ~$300-500K/year (3-7 yrs)
- Group Manager/ Sr. Manager: ~$180-300K/year (2-5 yrs)
- Manager/Sr. Analyst: ~$100-180K/year (2-4 yrs)
- Analyst: $80-100K/year (1-3 yrs)

80. What about F100 companies that have Strategic Planning groups separate from Corporate Strategy? How difficult would that transition be?

This is all depends on the specific company but pretty much anytime you strategic planning these are effectively strategy teams (either focused at the divisional level or corporate level) that are a bit more finance focused (work on the long range plan, etc.) and work in conjunction with the corporate strategy team or the divisional strategy team in the case that they are separate (although you'll find most of the time at the divisional level its a combined divisional strategy & planning team). The transition to a corporate strategy role from a strategic planning job will depend on the skillsets that you are able to get in the strat planning role. If you are full LRP/finance focused and not focused on any strategy type engagements it will be harder, however, it is definitely doable.

3/23/11

Thanks a lot man. That was really helpful. Do you have any insights about the lifestyle at each level from Group Manager and up? In terms of hours, stress, travel etc. Thanks again.

-MBP

3/23/11

81. Do you have any insights about the lifestyle at each level from Group Manager and up? In terms of hours, stress, travel etc. Thanks again.

Again this totally depends on the company/industry. From what I've seen at least in tech, hours in corpstrat at all levels are higher than counterparts across other parts of finance that have more routine 9-5 type jobs. You can probably expect to work on average 60-70 hours / week. Stress can be high on critical projects with short timelines, etc. but generally you are only staffed on 1-2 key projects at a time so it is definitely manageable. From a travel perspective, most travel ~10-15% of the time.

3/23/11

Thanks again. Really appreciate it.

-MBP

3/24/11

Thanks for your willingness to share your insight into this field.

Background: I have been working for a F1000 in accounting. After gaining exposure to M&A through some valuation work with our Biz Dev group I recognize that M&A is a path I'd like to explore. I have been in contact with the Biz Dev group but thus far have had no success. I have also taken some courses to improve my Excel/modeling in hopes that they will be transferable skills down the road. I have been networking and have gotten a couple interviews but they have wanted to see more Corp Dev experience.

My question is: What steps would you recommend for someone that is looking to break into specifically Corporate Development/Corporate Strategy. Is an MBA the only route for this type of career change? I know that I will be successful in this field, but I have not been able to break in... yet. Any advice would be appreciated.

People ask me, would you rather be feared or loved?
Um easy, I want people to be afraid of how much they love me.

4/7/11

Thanks for the great thread!

Could you give some info on how biz dev ties into all this? I see a lot of companies where biz dev is involved in strategy or corp dev but titles get so confusing; I look at the linkedin profiles of people and they go from biz dev to strategy to head of a group back to biz dev etc. Any info on either pay/lifestyle/career progression/anything else would be awesome.

4/7/11

82. At many companies business development groups are separate from strategy and corporate development teams. BizDev teams generally focus exclusively on signing and executing commercial agreements / relationships, etc. with other industry players. They do work very closely with strategy teams in defining some of the relationships that make the most sense to go out and strike from a strategic perspective and they can work closely with corpdev in situations where a company is making a strategic investment in a company as these kinds of equity deals generally are tied to a commercial deal. At some companies, all three functions sometimes are rolled up into one larger group but I have generally seen the separete group model more often. For example, Google has these as separate teams BizDev is called strategic partnership team, strategy is called strategy & business operations, and corpdev is called corpdev.

Many times as you mentioned people move between these three groups as the skillsets required are rather similar. In terms of pay/lifestyle this will depend on the industry in which you work but for the most part the hours and pay are similar to strat and corpdev teams.

4/25/11

Hey Havardgrad08 I appreciate the help and the post.

I was just wondering if the scale you gave for salary and years would be the same for F500's like nationwide or cardinal health? Or is that mainly for the startup type companies? According to the info u could be a V.P. at a corp dev team by 30? Also.... lets say you want to move from corp dev to a operational branch ( cuz i hear when the company has losses the Corp Dev team is first to go) what is the level transition could it be like manager to CFO to VP?

Thanks a lot btw for all your help!

4/26/11

83. I was just wondering if the scale you gave for salary and years would be the same for F500's like nationwide or cardinal health? Or is that mainly for the startup type companies?

The salary range I gave is more my industry (tech) and type of company (top tech firm think Google, Microsoft, Apple, Cisco, Adobe, Oracle, etc.) in an expensive part of the country (high cost of living). For F500 companies in other industries, other locations, etc. I would expect the pay to be significantly lower than tech in the bay area at a F500 company. As an FYI, generally most startups dont have corpdev teams...at most their CFO or maybe one of their guys in finance has banking experience, etc. and is the key go-to person during capital raises, etc.

84. According to the info u could be a V.P. at a corp dev team by 30?

Look at my response #79. While it is possible to make it to a VP level by your early 30s this is the exception and not the rule. In most cases, if you ever even make it to that level, you're looking at getting there in your late 30s / early-mid 40s.

85. lets say you want to move from corp dev to a operational branch ( cuz i hear when the company has losses the Corp Dev team is first to go) what is the level transition could it be like manager to CFO to VP?

Being in CorpDev doesnt give you carte-blanche to just become a CFO from a manager level job. That's like saying that because you were a 1st year associate in IBD then if you move to a back office job you will be the MD of the group. quite silly...corpdev is great in that it does help to accelerate your career by allowing you to move through the different levels more quickly (i.e. if corpdev it is quite realistic to become a sr manager 5 years after graduation while if you worked in FP&A you may barely be at a manager level) but if you move from a manager job in corpdev to an operational job you will likely move laterally or maybe get a one level promo if anything.

4/26/11

"As an FYI, generally most startups dont have corpdev teams...at most their CFO or maybe one of their guys in finance has banking experience, etc. and is the key go-to person during capital raises, etc."

Spot on. Thanks for revisiting this post, amazing amount of information!

"You stop being an asshole when it sucks to be you." -IlliniProgrammer
"Your grammar made me wish I'd been aborted." -happypantsmcgee

4/26/11
4/26/11

no problem...keep the questions coming.

4/26/11

What happens if you don't make it to GM/MD from Sr Dir/Dir? Is it up or out or can you just hang out in that position for a while?

"You stop being an asshole when it sucks to be you." -IlliniProgrammer
"Your grammar made me wish I'd been aborted." -happypantsmcgee

4/26/11

86. What happens if you don't make it to GM/MD from Sr Dir/Dir? Is it up or out or can you just hang out in that position for a while?

F500 companies are not as cutthroat as IBD. So as long as you are getting your work done and there is a business need for you then you'll be able to stay in that position as long as you want. For example, I know a guy who has been a sr. director for 6 years. They guy makes $500K total comp per year and works 40 hours / week - Great life...coaches his kids soccer team, etc. However, the thing to be aware of is that if there is a downturn, deal flow dies and the company is looking to reduce costs those folks are generally the first to go since there is no business need for them. In all reality though if you get to a sr. director level and have been there for 3-4 years and it doesnt look like the GM or head of the group is going anywhere then most folks leave to go to other companies either in corpdev or in a leadership role (i.e. CFO of a smaller company, startup, divisional CFO for another F500, etc.), or they move internally to more traditional finance jobs as CFOs of smaller divisions, subsidiaries, etc. For example, I know a guy who left after 4 years as a sr. director in corpdev to go be the CFO of our company's EMEA region.

4/27/11

Hey harvardgrad, thanks for all the posts. How do F500 companies' (in particular bay area high tech) look upon Big 4 TS experience in recruitment for corp dev or financial rotation positions? Any different for TS people already in SF/Silicon Valley?

4/27/11

Thanks Harvardgrad - very helpful advice so far.

Is there a process to choosing the firm you want to do Corp Dev for? Say I'm interested in a particular industry - do most F500 companies in that industry have a Corp Dev group? I'm sure the most well-known names may or may not have the best programs - how do you decide which is right for you - is it just the "feel of fit" during interviews, or is there another source of information? (i.e. Equiv of a vault rankings, insider's say on which firms promote quicker, etc.) What else should we think about during the selection process? (Growth of firm as a whole, level of innovation and prior acq activity, etc?)

I guess coming from a VC background, I may be overthinking this big bet on the business itself. I realize that these are established firms and not startups, but since you're choosing one company and one industry (at least in the beginning) to grow your career in, I feel like it's a big decision as to where.

Thanks!

4/27/11

87. How do F500 companies' (in particular bay area high tech) look upon Big 4 TS experience in recruitment for corp dev or financial rotation positions? Any different for TS people already in SF/Silicon Valley?

From my experience, Big 4 TS experience is very valued for M&A integration teams. Most of the large F500 tech companies have M&A integration teams (sometimes as part of their corpdev arm and sometimes as part of their larger finance organization). I haven't seen that may TS people in "front-office" corpdev. Most like I said end up in M&A integration. Finance rotation programs typically only recruit for UG or MBA (depending on the program). So the Big 4 TS experience as an intern or pre-MBA is decent experience to get you in the door for an interview. No real difference for TS people in the valley other than they probably work more closely with M&A integration teams from the F500 tech companies on a more regular basis.

88. Is there a process to choosing the firm you want to do Corp Dev for? Say I'm interested in a particular industry - do most F500 companies in that industry have a Corp Dev group? I'm sure the most well-known names may or may not have the best programs - how do you decide which is right for you - is it just the "feel of fit" during interviews, or is there another source of information? (i.e. Equiv of a vault rankings, insider's say on which firms promote quicker, etc.) What else should we think about during the selection process? (Growth of firm as a whole, level of innovation and prior acq activity, etc?)

This totally depends on what you want to do after corpdev. Personally, I think VC or a startup is something I would be quite interested in therefore I made the decision to choose a company that would give me 1) lots of deal experience, 2) experience in a variety of "hot" market segments or industry verticals, and 3) one in which i could move up quickly. So I focused on companies that were in multiple different "industries," that had been acquisitive, and that I had seen a fast trajectory for its corpdev employees by searching for them on linkedin. The real big decision is choosing an industry, in my opinion, since after a few years in that industry you can be pigeon holed there for your career. Therefore I looked for companies that worked in multiple different industries or segments so as to not pigeon hole myself into a small segment. That's why companies like Google, Microsoft, Cisco, etc. are so attractive - one day you could be working on a mobile deal, the next a social deal, the next a cloud deal, the next a more traditional software deal, the next a gaming deal, etc. These companies give you the flexibility to move into a lot of segments within tech. With regards to the first part of your question, I think that most of the large F500 players in an industry have a corpdev team. However, look for companies that do their deals exclusively via their corpdev team. I've found that some companies like to use a combined model where they do small deals internally and larger deals are done in conjunction with bankers.

4/27/11

harvardgrad08:

What have you seen/heard regarding next steps for those that joined corp dev (either at your company or elsewhere) at the analyst level? I have a similar story to you, just different industries - rotational program to corp dev analyst, and I'm thinking about some options for my next move, whenever it may be.

At my company, almost everyone that followed the same path I did has done 2-3 years as an analyst, then left for business school. If I wanted to stay in my industry after a few years, do you think a smaller IB focused on this industry would want me, and if so, at what level (without MBA)? Also interested to know what you're thinking for your next move.

4/28/11

How common is it for people in private equity (middle market) to move to corporate development, and vice versa? At which level(s) is this possible?

4/28/11

Thank you harvardgrad08 for this insightful thread. Can you shed some more light on corporate strategy because this is what I want to get into.

How is it different from corporate development and management consulting (assuming entry level)? And if I cannot get into corporate strategy, what is the next comparable role in a F500 company? Would it be like a junior role in product management?

4/28/11

Thank You, HG. Would BB Corporate Banking experience be regarded more highly as an entry point to corp dev than TS? How about Big 4 Corporate Finance (MMIB)?

4/28/11

89. What have you seen/heard regarding next steps for those that joined corp dev (either at your company or elsewhere) at the analyst level?

Given how you described analysts it seems that they are post rotation program (which most people call either sr. analysts, associates, or managers). So in that context, as i've mentioned ad nauseum in other posts in this thread exits tend to be lateral to other company corpdev, move up corpdev ladder internally, move into more traditional jr exec finance & strategy roles within your company or at another company, go to a startup as an exec, leave for VC or PE.

90. If I wanted to stay in my industry after a few years, do you think a smaller IB focused on this industry would want me, and if so, at what level (without MBA)?

Yes i've seen people move from corpdev to smaller industry specific banks but also to MM or BB firms. But as I've mentioned before this is generally not a traditional path since most came to corpdev to get away from banking. If you want to do it then its definitely possible and with regards to the level i would assume you would come in as an associate or if you have a lot more years of experience / industry connections maybe a VP.

91. Also interested to know what you're thinking for your next move.

For now, stay at current firm moving up the corpdev ladder then I'd probably either move to VC, go to a startup, or up the more traditional finance ladder at my company. Not really sure yet.

4/28/11

92. How common is it for people in private equity (middle market) to move to corporate development, and vice versa? At which level(s) is this possible?

I have definitely seem a good amount of MM PE people move into corpdev jobs. In terms of CD moving to PE, this is less common but it is definitely possible especially if you are moving to a PE that is more focused in your industry. I would say, from what i've seen, its possible to do this at most levels. After a couple of years in CD yo u can move over as an associate or even if you make it to head of corpdev you could move over to a PE as a partner. I've seen it happen at most levels.

4/28/11

93. Can you shed some more light on corporate strategy because this is what I want to get into.
How is it different from corporate development and Management Consulting (assuming entry level)?

See some of my other posts above for more detail but the basic distinction is that corpdev is deal execution focused vs. corp strat is focused on crafting the firms strategic & investment priorities, rationale for these, what whitespaces to go into, market sizing & forecast, how to better compete in your current businesses, etc. The work is very similar to the work you would do as an entry level consultant, except you are doing it for just one company and not a variety of clients.

94. And if I cannot get into corporate strategy, what is the next comparable role in a F500 company? Would it be like a junior role in product management?

I would say that if you cant get into corpstrat the next best groups are divisional strategy groups....these are essentially corpstrat teams focused on a specific business unit. After that product management is probably your best bet as you are working on the strategy (although mainly GTM), features, themes, requirements, etc for a specific product.

4/28/11

95. Would BB Corporate Banking experience be regarded more highly as an entry point to corp dev than TS?

In theory yes, but in reality i havent really seen very many BB corporate bankers in corpdev.

96. How about Big 4 Corporate Finance (MMIB)?

Yes. Although again Big4's usually have a big stigma associated with their names so it may st hard to break in even with CF experience.

5/13/11

Hi, amazing thread. I just read it through.

Question: How easy is it to move into corpdev if I have experience doing bizdev and corpdev for a small mid-cap holding company in South America? (Holding company owns construction/engineering, real estate, infrastructure and industrial service companies). Also, how would the process to break in and the pay differ from tech corpdev?

I just started working here 4 months ago in bizdev. This week I got called into the brand new investment department (basically south american equivalent of a combination of corpstrat and corpdev from what i was told i would be doing). It's gonna be the new VP and me.

I did my undergrad in engineering at a top 5 school for engineering (top 20 overall) then I went to europe and did 2 Master's Degrees in International Management and Finance at a top 20 Europe school. I went straight to grad school because I realized I wanted to work in finace and because of my personal situation I could get it for free until I'm 24 (my age now).

I'm really excited about starting in this new position next week and I plan to stay and learn for the short term. However, the pay is extreme shit, so I plan on moving back home to the states in the medium term - and my idea is to move into a Sr. Analyst type role when I do so.

How do f500 companies view experience abroad? To date I have little contact with US companies (my company focuses on activity within South America at the moment), any advice on how to network in the States while working here in South America? Also, any advice/insight on anything else I want to be doing to improve my chances of being hired when I move back to the states in a year or so?

Thanks in advance, and once again, thank you for this thread, it's really been very helpful.

5/22/11

Fantastic Thread, hope you are still taking some questions.

You mentioned that the general structure is as follows:
- Sr. Analyst (post 2 years IBD)
- Sr. Manager (post MBA)
- Director / Sr. Director
- MD / GM / VP (i.e. head of group)

Are you aware of any people coming across to the Senior Manager level after 4-5 years IBD (i.e. 3 years analyst, 1-2 associate) WITHOUT an MBA? I would imagine that it is possible given that IBD associate is considered to be a post-MBA position?

Thanks

5/23/11

Harvard--do you know much about Energy/Oil Corp Dev at the major places (Exxon, Chevron etc.)? It seems like these companies make tons of acquisitions like Tech, and most have plenty of cash too..

Are these units big? How would you compare working there to Tech Corp Dev?

thanks

5/23/11

97. How easy is it to move into corpdev if I have experience doing bizdev and corpdev for a small mid-cap holding company in South America?

I would say that if you already have experience in corpdev/bizdev for a small/mid-cap firm you could definitely transition to doing that same kind of role at a small / mid-cap firm in the states. It's really all about the experience you have and given your academic & work experience I think with a little networking you could make the transition.

98. Also, how would the process to break in and the pay differ from tech corpdev?

From a process standpoint, I think you'd probably have to go through more of a non-standard process - i.e. you could network your way in or you could just start applying to corpdev jobs in the states and see what happens. In terms of pay, it's very hard to say as it depends on the industry, company, location, etc. I would assume most industries outside of tech have significantly lower comp than what I've listed for tech firms.

99. How do F500 companies view experience abroad?

Like i mentioned in response #97, it's all about the work experience and not necessarily about the location. Although most F500 do like to see international experience as they are always looking at cross-border deals and have operating subsidiaries around the world that you could bring good insight to.

100. Any advice on how to network in the States while working here in South America?

Try to network with some of the U.S. companies that you are doing deals with...other than that I would just say look to your school's alum network.

101. Are you aware of any people coming across to the Senior Manager level after 4-5 years IBD (i.e. 3 years analyst, 1-2 associate) WITHOUT an MBA?

Yes it's definitely possible...if you search on LinkedIn, Simply Hired, etc. you'll sometimes see these jobs pop up. We have a couple of guys on our team that moved from associate jobs at BBs into sr. manager level roles and have since been promoted up to directors.

102. Do you know much about Energy/Oil Corp Dev at the major places (Exxon, Chevron etc.)? It seems like these companies make tons of acquisitions like Tech, and most have plenty of cash too..
Are these units big? How would you compare working there to Tech Corp Dev?

Honestly I don't know much about the energy/oil corpdev space. Like you said it seems that they do a lot of acquisitions so I assume they have some sort of decently sized corpdev teams in-house. I would do a search on LinkedIn for corpdev employees at these firms....this will give you a feel for the size of the group and the backgrounds of the different people. I think if you like the industry then it would be very similar to working in tech corpdev...I assume that most of the jobs are in places like Houston so you could expect pay to be lower than tech, however, Houston is much cheaper than the Bay Area so your $ will go a lot further. Given that most corpdev teams hire former bankers in most industries you can expect corpdev comp to be on the higher end of the F500 pay scale but significantly lower than banking (that said you do work 1/2 the number of hours). It's definitely a lifestyle job.

  • Commuter
  •  6/10/11

Thanks harvard for doing all this.

Q) Through a strong network with a c-level exec, I can probably at least have an interview for Corporate Development-M&A job at a large NYC credit company (Cap One, AMEX, Chase).. (it may or may not be rotation through the whole corporate strategy). As an econ major (semitarget) with a BB IB internship (Equity capital markets) how would you prepare for the interview or what would be expected of you.

Thanks again man.

In reply to Commuter
6/10/11
Commuter:

large NYC credit company (Cap One, AMEX, Chase).. (it may or may not be rotation through the whole corporate strategy)

what makes something a large NY credit card company? Amex is the only one of those HQ'd in NYC...

If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses - Henry Ford

  • Commuter
  •  6/10/11

I picked large credit service providers with large offices in NYC. CapOne has CD in NYC, obviously AMEX, id imagine Chase has some as well.

6/10/11

103. I have gotten a bunch of PM's about the specific non-comp benefits at a F500 company and have decided to just post them here...obviously these will vary significantly by company but at least in tech most companies seem to have the vast majority of these:

- Free Food (breakfast, lunch, and dinner all you can eat from the cafeteria)
- Free Drinks (we have pretty much every type of soda, juice, coffee, beer, etc. you could ever want - yes people drink while at work :) )
- Gym/Spa Membership (really nice gym - squash courts, tennis courts, basketball court, indoor soccer field, classes, all the typical gym equipment, spa services, etc.)
- Transportation To/From Work Everyday (via company's private shuttle system)
- Full Health/Dental/Vision (never have to pay a co-pay or anything out of pocket for any medical issue which is quite nice especially if you have a family)
- Company Products (software is free, hardware is generally highly discounted)
- Discount Card (gives you discounts at most restaurants, bars, museums, retailers, etc etc in the city)
- Time Off (20 annual vacation days with 1 year roll over; 10 sick days; 12 paid holidays)
- Connectivity (mobile phone and home internet bills reimbursed by the company)
- Tuition Reimbursement (up to $8k per year for any classes, etc. you want to take)
- Retirement (401K matching)
- Maternity/Paternity Leave (12 weeks paid for maternity, 6 weeks paid for paternity)
- Intramural Sports (on site basketball, soccer, baseball, volleyball courts for employee use)
- ESPP (purchase company shares at a 10% discount up to 15% of base salary)
- Tele-Work (flexibility to work from home or remotely whenever you want. I probably do this 1-2 times per week)
- Great Hours (most weeks i avg 50-60 hours)
- Other on the Job Perks (business class travel, ocassional jet travel if travelling with CEO, $75 per diem while traveling, top notch hotels, awesome tech budget so you can get the nicest computers as many monitors as you want - i have 4 lol.)
- Expats (these guys get the best deal...in addition to most of the above they get housing fully paid for or highly subsidized, kids private school tuition paid for, company cars, if youre sent to a 3rd world country most of the time the company will pay for your household staff including maids, chef, etc., country club membership, etc.)

6/10/11

104. Through a strong network with a c-level exec, I can probably at least have an interview for Corporate Development-M&A job at a large NYC credit company (Cap One, AMEX, Chase).. (it may or may not be rotation through the whole corporate strategy). As an econ major (semitarget) with a BB IB internship (Equity capital markets) how would you prepare for the interview or what would be expected of you.

You can generally expect CD interviews to be very very similar to those in IBD. Almost identical with a few added things. You should know things like valuation methods (comps, DCF, etc.), WACC, terminal value, lever/unlever beta, accretion/dilution, financial statements (i.e. if X changes on the P&L what happens to the rest of the financials), common valuation metrics, calc fully diluted shares, working capital, etc. etc. typical stuff...additionally corpdev teams generally also do an internal analysis known as a BBP (buy v. build v. partner analysis), given that most people have never done this kind of analysis they will probably ask you questions to try to gauge how you would go about running this kind of analysis...where do you get inputs, what assumptions would you make, etc. etc. Additionally, since most CD hires have some banking experience and manager level employees sometimes run deal processes you may be asked about what types of terms go into a definitive agreement, etc. Lastly, expect questions about the industry. What do you know about the credit card services space? how do think about the impact of new technologies on the space (things like NFC, mobile payment platforms, etc.)? what are interesting opportunities that you would pursue if you were in their shoes? How do you see the industry evolving? competition in the space? etc etc.

Hope this helps...and good luck.

6/13/11

I have a question about these leadership development programs. I will be attending a well recognized MBA program this fall and been looking at options in industry. Through talking with recruiters, it seems that the job has some aspects of IB (M&A, project finance, etc.) but also some really "boring" (take it as you will) roles such as audit, pension, controller, etc. To me it seems like you rotate and essentially lateral a lot into these different roles, but how does one manage upwards? Especially if you are more interested in those M&A type functions.

6/14/11

@ electriclighto - Can you explain to me what you mean by "manage upwards"? This could be interpreted as multiple things.

6/20/11

For instance, some of the people I spoke to essentially said they held a different role every 1-2 years. It seems to me like a lot of lateralling around and not moving up the management ladder. Is this true for those MBA hires who go into those treasury type roles?

7/6/11

How prestigious is corp dev and other areas of F500 companies, especially in terms of getting into business school? Can you describe how easy it is to get into HBS from manager, VP, etc? At MBB I hear its like 75%, how about from corp dev?

7/17/11

Hey Havardgrad08 - Thanks for this amazing thread.

I have close to eight years of technology experience ( software development and a bit of project management/pre sales). I just joined a top 20 MBA program and I want to get into Corporate strategy in the Tech industry post MBA. I wanted to check with you and the others on this thread on what electives, groups, areas that I should focus on during my MBA that will help me make this transition.

Thanks.

In reply to akan
7/18/11
akan:

Hey Havardgrad08 - Thanks for this amazing thread.

I have close to eight years of technology experience ( software development and a bit of project management/pre sales). I just joined a top 20 MBA program and I want to get into Corporate strategy in the Tech industry post MBA. I wanted to check with you and the others on this thread on what electives, groups, areas that I should focus on during my MBA that will help me make this transition.

Thanks.

I see some finance and entrepreneurship concentrations from guys in corp dev. or strat. I would def. do finance due to your lack of finance exp.

In reply to akan
7/18/11
akan:

Hey Havardgrad08 - Thanks for this amazing thread.

I have close to eight years of technology experience ( software development and a bit of project management/pre sales). I just joined a top 20 MBA program and I want to get into Corporate strategy in the Tech industry post MBA. I wanted to check with you and the others on this thread on what electives, groups, areas that I should focus on during my MBA that will help me make this transition.

Thanks.

I see some finance and entrepreneurship concentrations from guys in corp dev. or strat. I would def. do finance due to your lack of finance exp.

7/19/11

Would you have any information on the comp. packages for someone doing a leadership program in the corporate communications world? You've got some great stats on base incomes for those in the finance/corp strat or dev department; was wondering how figures in communications would compare. Thanks!

7/20/11

I'm interested in a corporate development-type job. How should I apply positions in a F500 company? Should I contact HR? Apply online? Network?

7/20/11

Harvard,

Have you seen many new hires come from the IB world at ages 30-35 (senior associate/vp)

or is it usually directly out of analyst program or MBA.

8/11/11

sorry for the lack of responses...i've been super busy lately.

105. I have a question about these leadership development programs. I will be attending a well recognized MBA program this fall and been looking at options in industry. Through talking with recruiters, it seems that the job has some aspects of IB (M&A, project finance, etc.) but also some really "boring" (take it as you will) roles such as audit, pension, controller, etc. To me it seems like you rotate and essentially lateral a lot into these different roles, but how does one manage upwards? Especially if you are more interested in those M&A type functions. For instance, some of the people I spoke to essentially said they held a different role every 1-2 years. It seems to me like a lot of lateralling around and not moving up the management ladder. Is this true for those MBA hires who go into those treasury type roles?

For most rotation programs you effectively lateral between groups will in the program (spend 6 months to 1 year in each group depending on the program). Then once out of the program you usually get promoted and then start working your way up the ladder in the respective group in which you landed. I would not say that it is true that most MBAs go into treasury roles. Generally, leadership program classes are recruited for interest diversity - so you end up having people that want to go into M&A, strategy, treasury, FP&A, accouting, tax, audit, etc. Then after the program most of these people land in whatever area they are most interested in.

106. How prestigious is corp dev and other areas of F500 companies, especially in terms of getting into business school? Can you describe how easy it is to get into HBS from manager, VP, etc? At MBB I hear its like 75%, how about from corp dev?

At least at my firm those in corpstrat, corpdev, and those coming from the finance leadership program have historically all gotten into top 10 MBA programs. From my company, over the past 3-4 years all those that have left from these positions have gotten into HBS, Stanford, Kellogg, Wharton, INSEAD, Columbia, Tuck, etc. The nice thing about these kinds of jobs is that they do set you apart from all of the same banker/PE types that applying.

107. I have close to eight years of technology experience ( software development and a bit of project management/pre sales). I just joined a top 20 MBA program and I want to get into Corporate strategy in the Tech industry post MBA. I wanted to check with you and the others on this thread on what electives, groups, areas that I should focus on during my MBA that will help me make this transition.

Take a lot of the strategy / management courses offered at your school, also take a bunch of finance (M&A focused classes), join your tech club, etc.

108. Would you have any information on the comp. packages for someone doing a leadership program in the corporate communications world? You've got some great stats on base incomes for those in the finance/corp strat or dev department; was wondering how figures in communications would compare. Thanks!

Honestly no idea...

109. I'm interested in a corporate development-type job. How should I apply positions in a F500 company? Should I contact HR? Apply online? Network?

All of the above...

110. Have you seen many new hires come from the IB world at ages 30-35 (senior associate/vp) or is it usually directly out of analyst program or MBA.

Like I've mentioned before most come in at the post analyst or post MBA levels. Occasionally, people at those ages get hired in as directors+ but at least where I work they tend to just promote people internally when there is a gap like that and then just hire an MBA backfill.

8/16/11

Harvardgrad, thanks for this excellent resource for those of trying to break in/learn more! I'm currently a rising senior with a S&T SA and extensive market related internship experiences. How should best spin myself to show that I'm qualified for Corp dev when interviewing? Will just becoming very proficient at technicals be enough to compete against the banking/consulting folks with more relevant experiences?

8/23/11

Hey HarvardGrad08 - first of all, kudos/SB.

Second of all, do you have any concerns about job security in corp dev? I've seen people allude to the idea that corp dev is easy to shed when times get tough, since it's not integral to ongoing operations. Have you found that to be true? Any idea relative to something like MM PE?

Also, I asked this in another thread, but do you know of 'prime' tech corp dev opportunities in the Northeast? I don't see myself moving out west due to family reasons, but most of the talk about corp dev on WSO seems to be centered on the Bay area. I assume IBM would be a top contender, but are there any others? Or even non-tech companies that do a lot of M&A and have good corp dev groups?

Thanks so much,

dublin

8/26/11

111. I'm currently a rising senior with a S&T SA and extensive market related internship experiences. How should best spin myself to show that I'm qualified for Corp dev when interviewing? Will just becoming very proficient at technicals be enough to compete against the banking/consulting folks with more relevant experiences?

Since few firms recruit directly at the undergrad level I'm not too sure you will be faced with this scenario. That said, if you want to do corpdev try to get into IBD or mgmt consulting full-time then make the jump to CD. In the case that you do interview for CD jobs during undergrad, I think that if you show that you are proficient technically and have passion for the company and industry that should be enough to make you competitive.

112. you have any concerns about job security in corp dev? I've seen people allude to the idea that corp dev is easy to shed when times get tough, since it's not integral to ongoing operations. Have you found that to be true? Any idea relative to something like MM PE?

I would say that generally strategy and CD teams are usually some of the first to get RIFs during a downturn as you said since they are not integral to ongoing ops. However, I would say that this is particularly true at smaller companies. I've seen very little of this at the F500 level but there is always the possibility. That said, I would said on the whole the job security even in these groups is much higher than if you were to compare it with PE, etc. as these guys are 100% dependent on deal flow while corpdev or strat team members can be repurposed internally into other functions as opposed to getting fired.

113. do you know of 'prime' tech corp dev opportunities in the Northeast? I don't see myself moving out west due to family reasons, but most of the talk about corp dev on WSO seems to be centered on the Bay area. I assume IBM would be a top contender, but are there any others? Or even non-tech companies that do a lot of M&A and have good corp dev groups?

From a tech / online perspective obviously IBM, like you mentioned, comes to mind in the NE and also Xerox, EMC, Raytheon. IAC is quite acquisitive and I think they are based in NYC. For other industries, Boston is known for its life sciences (Thermo Fischer Scientific, Genzyme, Novartis, Boston Scientifc come to mind), Philly / NJ for pharma (GlaxoSmithKline, AstraZeneca, J&J) and also for Comcast, and obviously NYC for media (Time Warner, CBS, Viacom, etc.) and advertising (all the large ad agencies are there). Just look for large players in those industries based in these cities and you could are likely to find companies with decent corpdev teams.

8/26/11

Thanks man, very helpful on both my questions (not to mention the rest of the thread), really appreciate it

8/29/11

Subd

http://ayainsight.co/ Curating the best advice and making it actionable.

10/12/11

Hi harvardgrad08,

First thanks for this very interesting thread. Do you think its possible for someone starting off in corp dev (say, post MBA) to transition into ibanking later on, at a VP level or higher? If the pay and hours are better as you move up the ladder in an investment bank, then it seems like a no-brainer to try to get into the business later on at a higher level, if possible...Is this plausible? Possible pitfalls?

10/31/11

114. Do you think its possible for someone starting off in corp dev (say, post MBA) to transition into ibanking later on, at a VP level or higher?

I have seen a few cases of this but usually it's very senior folks (i.e. the head of the CD team, etc.). Some cases that I know off the top of my head are a guy who ran CD at Adobe made the jump to an MD at a BB firm, same with the former head of CD at Yahoo! who moved to some BB to run their tech group (i think BAML...), also a guy who ran CD at Microsoft left to go be an MD at a top boutique (i think evercore...). However, from what I've seen most of these guys had prior IB experience before moving to CD...they were either analysts / associates / VPs.

In reply to harvardgrad08
11/23/11
harvardgrad08:

39. What did you major in while at Harvard?

I did a triple concentration in Latin American Women of Suffolk, Bottle Service at Rumor, and Bumming Rides on Friends' Jets.

In all seriousness though...Econ.

is it wrong that I love guys like this? probably

11/23/11

Harvardgrad08, can you speak to the relationship your group has with in house legal? Do you have any former attorneys in your group? If so, did they come over from law firms, or did they make a transition to finance before joining the group?

11/23/11

115. can you speak to the relationship your group has with in house legal? Do you have any former attorneys in your group? If so, did they come over from law firms, or did they make a transition to finance before joining the group?

Like many F500 companies we have a large in-house legal counsel that assists all groups in the company with their specific legal requirements. As part of our legal org there is a small group of lawyers focused exclusively on M&A. We partner with them very regularly on deals to get the LOI and DA drafted, etc. On our specific strategy & corp dev team we don't have any former lawyers...mostly bankers & consultants. Most of the lawyers in our legal org made the transition from other law firms. Those in the M&A legal group tend to come from some of the more prestigious law firms (skadden arps, cleary gottlieb, proskauer rose, cravath, wilson sonsini, KL gates, etc.)

11/28/11

Thank you for the great thread. I am currently in the interview process of a private company in the healthcare sector after a few years in a boutique bank as a generalist. As you mentioned, I am expecting a bit lower of comp level in a non-tech industry. Is it applicable for the healthcare sector as well? Also, can you tell us a bit about the due diligence process that you do that is similar/different from what a banker would do? How much of a "relationship" role do you play as an associate?

11/28/11

116. I am currently in the interview process of a private company in the healthcare sector after a few years in a boutique bank as a generalist. As you mentioned, I am expecting a bit lower of comp level in a non-tech industry. Is it applicable for the healthcare sector as well?

I would assume its probably lower than tech but I could be wrong...the comp will also vary significantly depending on where the company is located...if you are looking at Boston vs. random town in NJ then comp will probably vary.

117. Also, can you tell us a bit about the due diligence process that you do that is similar/different from what a banker would do?

I would say that this depends on each individual company. At my firm, the corpdev team's DD role is limited to mainly helping with the preliminary DD in terms of the companies financials, forecasts, cap table, etc. We have an entire team in house that does M&A integration and they conduct a lot of prelim DD regarding tech, people, ops, etc. Then they usually run the confirmatory DD process holistically including financials, intangible asset valuations, goodwill, tech, HR, ops, etc etc.

118. How much of a "relationship" role do you play as an associate?

I would say that as an associate level (note that titles vary by company) my responsibilities do include relationship management. Meaning that i attend conferences to form relationships with banks, VCs, and target companies. I also manage those relationships on a day to day basis meaning that when banks come and pitch to us most of the time im the one running that meeting and then if I see something interesting i will run it by the more sr folks. My relationship work has helped bring in a few companies we have evaluated or acquired. That said, when it comes to the actual deal process, although I am present for most exec meetings / reviews, the more sr. corpdev folks are the ones actually negotiating the deal while I support.

11/28/11

Thank you for your reply. What are your next steps? How long are you planning to stick around and what would you like to do in the future? Do you see yourself doing this for a while?

From the people I know (which isn't many), most of them use this opportunity to boost their profile and separate themselves for the MBA adcoms. I'd be interested to know if you know people that start from the analyst/associate level and work themselves up without going through MBA.

11/29/11