Q&A: Corporate Development Manager at last, the dream job at a TMT listed group


Lancaster UK Accounting & Finance degree with professional CA (Aust & NZ) certifications.
Majority of my work was financial audits, due diligence, IPO work & consultancy in Big4, with short stints in Operations in retail group (both health, beauty &  dry, fresh grocery products) and e-commerce Technology start-up company.

Any questions are welcome.

I'm glad I have been able to land the dream job that I am looking for after efforts and research and would like to give back in ways possible, within my knowledge to those who can benefit from it.

WSO Mentor

Want to work with me? Check out my profile here.

Comments (4)

Oct 15, 2020 - 9:47am
Corp_Dev_CFA, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Thanks for taking the time to do this - I can kick it off with a few questions.

  • Seems like you have a very diverse background of work experience - why make the move to corporate development?
  • Can you elaborate a little bit more on the new role. Manager by title only or will you actually be managing junior employees?
  • What were some of the reasons you choose this firm? Any word on how acquisitive the firm will be?
  • What was the corporate development recruiting process like? Can you provide any specifics on the interviews - case study, technicals etc.
  • How has your salary progressed? Current comp?
Most Helpful
Oct 15, 2020 - 12:55pm
Ericthebarbarian, what's your opinion? Comment below:
  1. IPO gave me the initial exposure, done a whole lot of research on capital markets and investment banking. May have gone silly, but the compliance side in an audit environment didn't really give me the kick I needed anymore. Where people get bored to death looking at filing requirements for securities commission and 90 to hundreds of pages long of documents just to do fund-raising, I am somehow turned on? Coupled with the strategic side of things and the ability to assess businesses, putting all the industry knowledge I gained as part of my Big4 career simply seemed to be the next step. Was reading up alot (up until now, still needing to read up alot) but overall, I'm somehow living an inspired life like I found this M&A things has always been what I wanted to do. Its like I reconnected to a long lost friend bearing in mind I had no regrets where I was but audit was becoming a comfort zone. I just never like being anywhere in my career where I hit a comfort zone. The thrill of the chase gives most of the inspiration and motivation.
  2. So far, going by title. Not sure of the norm or the nature of tech companies, ever since I got out of the Big 4, structure of companies I encounter are lean, progressive and fast-paced. So I am not sure if its an industry thing, but the trend now seem to gravitate towards, lesser people, wider scope, and inter-division/dept. management. If you're wondering if I'm the most junior in the team, then yes. That aside, I have to deal with C-suite people which sometimes seem pretty daunting, legal, external consultants and whatsoever party is going to be involved. Alot of times even obtaining things from people that I have 0 control over. In terms of subordination, I do report to VP & Director for the role but so far, its almost as if everyone is on a different assignment/project with support here & there along the way. To also be honest, I kind of prefer it this way than having to deal with subordinates. There's that mentoring, unwilling apprentice, willing mentor chemistry to seek out for. Role elaboration: 10% max origination, 35% modeling, 25% deal structure + analysis, 30% Miscellanous tasks (preparing papers for funding requirements, approval for new business licensing, government initiative programs, board paper approvals, business cases etc.)
  3. To be frank I was hunting for such roles to not much avail. Particular one was a headhunter who I networked with who managed to get me in this role. Actively acquisitive. Eg. 5-6 target co. a month. Even if deals don't flow through, then there's business funding or new product/market initiatives to look at. Sometimes pre-deals also do consider modelling synergies or areas of strategic collaboration between targets and the existing business so, never a free day actually.
  4. Was fairly commercial basic with no structure really. Particularly they had interest in modelling, whether there was deal/corporate exercise experiences. Technical knowledge leans towards modelling and the industry of the company. There was no case study. Alot of work ethics and how I survive in tough environments because its really fast-paced.
  5. 12% increment from prior FP&A managerial position. $108k excluding bonuses (discretionary, but with the environment we're in now, I'd be really lucky to keep my job!)

    All in all, I'm really glad I'm in the corporate development space. I am aware of being at least 30% below comp. levels but I guess its already a long shot that I got here out of non-bank, non-target background. My VP did suggest that I should aim for at least 50% increment in my next job hunt haha. Though I think that's still a long way to go.

    Hope this helps~!

Oct 23, 2020 - 4:30am
Ericthebarbarian, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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