Corporate Development Hierarchy / Info

Hey all,

I am curious if any of you could share insight to the corporate development hierarchy / career development. It seems that it is becoming a more popular choice among IB exits, and there's scattered info on this site as to what exactly it is like (Comp, WLB, career progression, etc). Would really appreciate if someone could share insight on what the details of corporate development are like once you lateral in- starting title, comp, WLB, years until promotion, and what this looks like at each position as you work your way up. Completely understand that no company is identical in how it is ran, but a rough idea would be still greatly appreciated. 

Comments (14)

Most Helpful
May 16, 2022 - 10:29am
MMBanker14, what's your opinion? Comment below:

WLB is dependent on firm, location, and how much M&A they're doing. Generally hours are good (typically 8 or 830am-6pm), can be more when in the thick of deals, but after leaving banking I've only worked past 9pm a few times in more than 5 years. Weekend work is rare. Career progression is variable based on firm and how big or small a deal team is and if others leave or move to a different group within the firm - but generally 3 years at each level seems about right. Maybe 2-3 years at lower levels and closer to 3-4 as you get more senior until you stall out based on performance or team structure - team structures can actually be top heavy. Roughly, in a Tier 2 city (i.e. not SF or NYC or not in large cap tech, which may pay more, especially with regards to SBC), here's what I'd expect based on my experience.

Sr Analyst (common position after 2 years in banking) - 100-110K base with 10-15% bonus target. Disclaimer - this could have inched up another 10K in past 3 years due to banks raising their analyst pay

Manager - 120-130K base with 15% bonus target

Sr Manager - 150K base with 15-20% bonus target, potentially may get small-ish SBC (25K?) even if not in tech

Director - 175K base with 20-30% bonus target, some stock (maybe 25K-50K?)

Sr Director - 200K base with 25-30% bonus target, SBC of up to 100K 

VP on up (SVP / EVP) - less familiar with these levels but someone at VP or head of corp dev could sit at this level for a long time. Newly promoted VP might be more in the 225-250K base with 30%+ bonus target and SBC at 100-150K.

May 17, 2022 - 6:00pm
NT123, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Thanks for such a detailed answer! What is the average progression at each level - how many years does it take to be promoted typically?

  • Intern in IB - Cov
May 17, 2022 - 6:27pm

What does the lateral into CD look like? Is it competitive (I.e., CD teams target top groups, or can any IB'er at brand name make the transition relatively seamlessly)? Lastly, what type of IB experience would best suit a CD position - more specifically, what role would you tell interns to gun for to maximize chances at CD, if this even matters (i.e., coverage group, product group (M&A), RX)?

May 18, 2022 - 9:49am
MMBanker14, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Any IBer at almost any bank can land a F500 Corp Dev role - it's not like PE recruiting. There may be select companies where that's not the case, but that's been my experience. I don't think group coverage vs product group matters too much. However, if someone is in an O&G coverage group and wants to work in tech corp dev, they'll need a good story about why they're looking to move - but that doesn't make it exceptionally difficult.

  • Intern in IB - Gen
May 23, 2022 - 2:51am

Appreciate the detailed answer. Would you say there is any benefit to doing A2A at a bank before making the switch? Where in the structure would someone like a 2nd year associate lateral into?

May 23, 2022 - 4:57pm
JBanksohn, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Well Said.

This response reads like a synopsis of my career in CD to date from (Analyst level to Director Level).

Authored by: Certified Corporate Development Professional - Director
May 31, 2022 - 11:48am
dan_yo23, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Curious about your thoughts on moving to CD from IR. I just started in IR and really like it- love the exposure to the markets, executive team, and investors. My team is pretty lean and while it is possible I get an IR Director promo in 3-5 years, it really is dependent on the current director leaving. So I look at other potential moves and think of CD.

Thoughts on what to work on and learn to make myself competitive for a jump like that? I'm thinking that really learning what I can from the ER notes would be helpful. My company is highly acquisitive, and they keep IR appraised of what is happening on that front.. so there will be plenty to learn by osmosis once we get a deal off the ground. Any other ideas would be helpful. I already have tons of exposure to the exec team, so it's likely that I can make whatever move I want just by being liked by them..

May 31, 2022 - 12:01pm
MMBanker14, what's your opinion? Comment below:

The best thing to do is to be engaged and diligent when partnering with the Corp Dev team to prepare for earnings/transaction/investor calls. Really try to understand the rationale and how the team thought about valuation on individual deals. If possible, try to grab coffees or lunches with your counterparts on the Corp Dev team occasionally. The most important thing is to be likable. At that point, you become a known quantity, and even if you don't have all the technical skills, you can learn them quite easily. The couple Corp Dev teams I've been on were very open to internal hires, and at least one had hired someone internally without IB or CD experience in the past.

Beyond that, I agree that really understanding ER notes and how the street thinks about your company (and competitors/peers) would be helpful. If you can, get your hands on ER analyst models (to the extent this is possible) and then try to re-build them with no/minimal referencing in your free time. You can also look at valueinvestorsclub.com for your company and peers and see how investors think about your industry - most posts have at least basic thoughts on valuation.

Jun 2, 2022 - 1:21am
wanttobreakin111, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I think these comp figures are a bit low based on what I've been quoted / hearing lately - but YMMV with these roles as you said. Heavily dependent on company / location / industry.

  • Incoming Analyst in IB - Cov
Jun 2, 2022 - 11:00am

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