May 10, 2024

Possible to move from corporate development to corporate banking?

Hi all, I work in corporate development for a small public company (under $10 billion in market cap) and was wondering if corporate banking hiring managers are receptive to my background.

I enjoy the work I do now and will likely stay at my current role for the next ~2 years, but I’d like to explore other options that offer a quicker, more structured compensation progression. I’m also interested in being client-facing. I would’ve considered IB given my background in M&A, but the WLB/culture is atrocious from what I’ve gathered from my friends, alumni and this forum.

Despite having no experience in credit, would I get looks with my M&A and corporate development background? Do corporate banking groups hire experienced analysts?

Any insight would be helpful. Thanks.


Based on the most helpful WSO content, transitioning from corporate development to corporate banking is indeed feasible, especially with your background in M&A and corporate development. Here are some insights and steps you might consider:

  1. Leverage Your M&A Experience: Corporate banking roles often value experience in M&A due to the analytical and financial modeling skills involved. Your background can be particularly appealing because it demonstrates a strong understanding of corporate finance and strategic decision-making.

  2. Develop Credit Skills: While you mentioned a lack of experience in credit, it would be beneficial to start building this skill set. You could consider taking courses in credit analysis or seeking projects in your current role that involve credit assessment aspects to make your transition smoother.

  3. Networking: Building relationships within the banking sector can significantly enhance your chances of making a successful transition. Attend industry conferences, connect with corporate bankers via LinkedIn, or participate in finance-related events to expand your network.

  4. Highlight Transferable Skills: In your applications and interviews, emphasize skills that are transferable to corporate banking, such as client management, risk assessment, and financial analysis. Make sure to tailor your resume and cover letter to reflect the most relevant experiences.

  5. Consider Starting as an Experienced Analyst: Corporate banking groups do hire experienced analysts, especially those who can bring valuable industry knowledge and a mature perspective to the team. Your experience in a corporate setting can position you as a strong candidate for these roles.

  6. Research and Target Specific Banks: Look for banks that are known for their strong corporate banking arms and see if they have a history of hiring professionals from corporate development backgrounds. Tailor your job search and networking efforts towards these organizations.

By following these steps and continuing to build on your existing skills, you can position yourself as a strong candidate for roles in corporate banking.

Sources: The Other Road: Corporate Development Associate Fielding Questions, Why corporate banking instead of investment banking?, Q&A: Corporate Banking Associate, 2017 Commercial/Corporate Banking Bonuses, Breakdown of Post-IB Exit Opportunities

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