FP&A to Corp Dev/Strategy

I recently graduated in May and started a FP&A role at a ~$5B SaaS company. My experience so far has been a 180 compared to my internship at this company. I think my perception of FP&A was skewed because during my internship I was able to do two separate ad hoc modeling projects that were relatively complex and interesting. Now that I am full time, the work is mind numbing and beyond repetitive with almost no modeling. Anyways, my end goal is to move into corp dev, but wanted to get some opinions on the best route for that. I know I obviously can't go straight from FP&A to a strict M&A corp dev role, but my thinking is to go FP&A -> strategic finance -> corp dev/strategy -> corp dev. In an ideal scenario I think this would take me 3-5 years. I do not want to go FP&A -> MBA -> IB -> corp dev. 

Anyone made this jump and mind sharing how you did it? 

Comments (6)

Aug 6, 2022 - 9:50pm
PrivatePyle, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Work hard, network in your company, and be available to take on things outside of your general scope of work. Try and get a good grounding in deck building and "story telling" within them; this is an underrated skill that will pay dividends during your to move from vanilla FP&A to strategy. 

Aug 6, 2022 - 9:57pm
corpfinmonkey2022, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Appreciate the comment

One of the only good things about my current role is I have great exposure to the c-suite. If I don't learn any technical skills from this role I should be able to develop some soft skills in communication. Due to the size of my company being <2k employees, our corp dev team is tiny (like less than 5 people). After a year or so, I could relatively easily internally transfer to the strategic finance team, which would be much more technical and interesting. 

Most Helpful
Aug 6, 2022 - 10:03pm
PrivatePyle, what's your opinion? Comment below:

When you are with the c-suite pay close attention to the questions they ask. You'll notice that they often are less about the numbers and more about how they plan to craft the story that they'd like to tell. If you can get this down and begin to anticipate the questions you'll tee yourself up nicely for the transition. I can't speak to corp dev specifically from a transition standpoint as my background is generally in strategy, but I have helped my current company and prior ones with acquisitions in both a support and lead function. 

Aug 16, 2022 - 8:47pm
kkofool345, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I recently went on this path from FP&A at a $2B SaaS startup to FP&A > Corp Dev Finance > Corp Dev at a Fortune 500. The key here is to network at your company and leverage the connections you have with those in the corporate development team. I reached out to the cd finance manager and sold her on relatable skills that I gained from working in FP&A. After working in that role for a year, I built connections with the Corp Dev team all while taking modeling courses and reading textbooks on the m&a process. I now work as an associate and although the process took about 3 years, it was worth the effort since the role is much more dynamic and enjoyable than doing budgeting/forecasting imo

Aug 18, 2022 - 9:18pm
corpfinmonkey2022, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Super helpful, thank you. As far as the actual move did you work cross-functionally with CD on some projects to "prove" yourself and then get officially transferred? Or was it just a role opened up, and your name was already out there and got it that way?

Sep 6, 2022 - 6:35pm
kkofool345, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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