Corp. Dev and/or Corp. Strat Role with a non-finance/accounting background?

I am ready to leave the consulting world behind & I've been eyeing corp dev or strategy roles, though would be open to other roles in industry. The thing that gives me pause is that I don't have a strong finance/accounting background (though I have a very basic understanding of both).

My background is as follows:

-Current manager at in the M&A Strategy practice of a B4 in Chicago
-Experience has all been in post-merger integration work (operations focused)
-A generalist as it relates to industry / functional expertise; though my experience has been broad across both categories
-No experience with any kind of due diligence work
-Come from a liberal arts educational background (I have a BA/history & a JD)

To you corp dev/corp strategy professionals:
-Do you work with folks with similar non finance/accounting backgrounds in your role? I hear corp dev. is especially model heavy and full of ex bankers and PE types
-Without getting an MBA, is there anything I can be doing to make myself a more attractive candidate to employers in this space?
-Any courses or certifications that could help my case? I am eyeing a few financial modeling courses
-If corp dev. and strategy are pipe dreams, where else could someone with a background similar to mind fit in an industry role?

Any thoughts or opinions?

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Comments (4)

Most Helpful
Sep 18, 2018 - 3:24pm

You've got a JD -- play that card and play it hard.

I'm on a Corp Strat/Dev team that consists of an SVP, 2 VPs, 2 Mgrs and 2 Analysts. One VP and I are the finance gurus, the SVP and 1 Mgr have a marketing background, and the last VP comes from the state (regulatory issues). Both analysts are generalists and came right out of school.

You could easily fill our Regulatory role with a JD. Yeah, it'd be better if you understood the finance aspects, and yeah, it be better if you had DD experience...but the regulatory piece is a big component of what we do, too.

Go get BIWS to brush up and sell your legal experience.

Director of Finance and Corporate Development: 2020 - Present Manager of FP&A and Corporate Development: 2019 - 2020 Corporate Finance, Strategy and Development: 2011 - 2019 "An investment in knowledge pays the best interest." - Benjamin Franklin
  • 3
Sep 18, 2018 - 5:23pm

To be clear, I haven't doing anything related to law for 6+ years, but sounds like I need to play this up.

Are there any particular models I should be focusing on within BIWS?

Thanks for the very informative reply, +1SBed

Sep 18, 2018 - 3:42pm

partially depends on what level you come in at. if you're director or above, you probably won't be cranking out models, so your lack of finance skills is mitigated.

Sep 19, 2018 - 4:21pm

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