Corporate development/strategy at a large private equity firm

Any thoughts on these roles?  Think roles at firms like Carlyle, Ares, Brookfield, Oaktree, etc.  Many opportunities exist, but I suspect high degree of variability between roles.  Some corp dev groups are bureaucrats who push paper and are more focused on communicating strategy than setting/executing it.  Other groups seem more like the navy seals who come in and work on the highest strategic priorities for the firm.  The role I'm evaluating would be pretty decent comp (likely $500k cash plus meaningful equity in the holdco), and apparently works directly with the CEO/CFO/COO of the firm, mostly on M&A but also other strategy initiatives (new distribution channels, insurance partnerships etc.).  My general thesis is that it's high exposure, potentially high trajectory role in a growing industry going through an interesting transition (alternative asset management).  But I worry that this role will pigeonhole me long term - no longer quite an "investor" - and I will only be able to stay in this seat (who knows, maybe be head of strategy one day) or do something similar at a peer firm.  The role I'm evaluating in particular is in a very lean group with 1-2 others, including a partner.  My background is 2 yrs FIG BB IB, 4 years FIG PE, fwiw.  Thoughts?

One case study is Imran Siddiqui, who built Athene for Apollo and now run's Sixth Street's insurance business:…

Comments (3)

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  • Associate 2 in PE - Other
Jun 19, 2022 - 10:31pm

Here's how I would think about it, in the order of importance:

1. PE investing and corporate development are two completely different jobs. Think about what you enjoy doing on a day-to-day basis. The vision is cool and all, but the day-to-day drives the experience. 

2. Are you happy at your PE firm (career potential, $, WLB, overall experience, etc)? If the answer is yes, why go to a new place to be the bottom of the totem pole, prove yourself from scratch and potentially risk working with someone you don't get along with? I would take a small pay cut to work with people I like every day.

Tough to make a blanket statement - these decisions need to be made with the context of where you are and where you want to be. And if this role closes that gap, go for it.

The group sounds very lean, so I imagine you have to work with them pretty often with no hiding, no exit. Do as much diligence as you could on the team culture, which might manifest itself during the recruiting process. How technical are the interviews? How sharp are the interviewers? Are they being respectful during the process? Might not be 100% accurate, but it should give you some ideas about how these guys operate.

  • Associate 3 in PE - LBOs
Jun 20, 2022 - 1:32pm

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