Questions about Corp Dev post-banking

Hi there, I was hoping anyone who exited to Corp Dev could help answer some questions for me.

  1. What is corp dev? Like what do you actually do on a day to day basis and how does that compare to banking?

  2. How did you land a corp dev job? Several headhunters mentioned it to me during OCR - did you get it through one of them or through LinkedIn/online? I just don’t know where to start searching.

  3. What is the typical salary range for a large company? I’ve heard so many different figures thrown around ($100k, $250k, etc.). What would you expect someone with 1 year of banking experience to make?

  4. Are you happy? Are you glad that you made the switch out of banking, and do you regret your decision at all? Do you wish you did PE? I’ve worked at smaller corporate companies and while I was happier, I also felt like the people I worked with were not as motivated/sharp, which made me feel complacent/like I could be doing more with my life.

Most Helpful

1. Corp Dev is internal M&A. You evaluate targets and execute on transactions on behalf of your firm. The key difference here is that you are the principal, so you are determining the deal structure, the deal considerations, managing internal cross-functional diligence workstreams, and working across the company to gain institutional alignment on what the intended post-close outcome is for any transaction. Yes, there are aspects of banking that does not change (running a data room, collecting diligence questions, doing valuation, making decks (except presented to your M&A or investment committee rather than a client) - depending on whether or not you've hired a bank to help you. 

Depending on the company, some corp dev teams not only evaluate and execute, but also look at the top of the funnel - what universe of companies make sense to achieve your strategic objectives, and then filtering down to your preferred targets hand in hand with the BU. Other corp dev teams have their strategy teams and BU teams primarily lead the sourcing and top of the funnel research and take point once targets have been selected.

There is definitely less bitch work than banking, and much more value add. Because you work so cross functionally with other parts of the business that move much, much slower that you, the pace is much more relaxed.

2. LinkedIn, job boards....recruiters sometimes pass along corp dev stuff but most of those guys are focused on buyside opportunities, so I would not rely on them for the majority of opportunities for you to evaluate. 

3. With 1 year of experience, salary range is probably ~90-120K, with some tech firms going above 120K. TC will obviously take you higher.
4. For now, I'm happy. Everyone on my team is super sharp, and while not everyone in the company is, that's the price you pay to have a life outside of work. Never wanted to do PE for the WLB reasons.


Yea but how easy is it to actually decrease your income level by 50%? You probably need to move out of your flat, stop saving, stop these holidays in the Caribbean, etc., don’t you?

Idk in London someone just showed me a Corp dev role for £80k + 10% bonus at senior Associate level. Junior Associate salary at my firm is £115k + >100%. That’s quite a pay cut...I mean if you go home at 5pm OK but that’s unlikely isn’t it ?


Pretty big upside at PE portcos. Used to work at a MF-backed portco and I'm pretty sure the head of M&A has a small equity stake (4-7 acquisitions a year) Company is on the upward trend and I'm sure will sell for north of >$1B (2.7x MOIC last I heard, one of their partners mentioned this as a strong investment in some podcast with an estimated valuation of the company at the time). Wouldn't be surprised if head of M&A all-in w/ cash is <$300K but the company sale may net a few million on top.


I'm interning in CorpDev now so can give you some color. We have a very small team, so everyone is expected to wear many hats, but we still maintain a somewhat hierarchical pecking order similar to banking (intern -> analyst -> manager -> director -> SVP). As far as the work, I won't rehash any existing answers, but we literally call ourselves the M&A team more than the CorpDev team, so it tells you a bit about the type of work we do. 

Big thing to note: Not all CorpDev shops are created equal, and from what I've heard, there are teams that rely heavily on bankers for almost everything, and they are just the interlocutors between management and bankers and focus more on strategy than M&A. Other teams (my team being one of them) employ former bankers, do a large amount of modelling and can execute deals up to a certain size without any bankers, only leveraging bankers for relationships, and to get a different perspective for internal modelling. I would be wary of the latter type, as there won't be much dealflow, and you'll spend a lot of time spinning your wheels waiting for the right deal to come along. Find teams who are active (use merger market to help) and who have former bankers, so you know your current role will be understood and leveraged in their team. 


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