Corp Dev - Long term career devlopment

Zatopek's picture
Rank: Gorilla | 588

Hi guys,

Interested to hear what people's longer term career aspirations are working in corp dev.

I am mid career now and although I love doing deals, Head of Corp Dev roles in Europe tend to cap out at between equivalent $250-$350k, which in a high cost of living city is not much more than comfortable.

I like the idea of heading up a business unit but seems it can be a little difficult to make this move the longer you go on in corp dev and these roles seem to go to people who have worked their way up within the BU.

Guess I'm just interested to hear where corp dev people see their careers going in 10,15,20 years time?

All Europe

Comments (3)

Mar 5, 2020

I''l chime in:

I have been in Corp Dev for a few years and at this point, I am not really sure what my next steps entail. I have been fortunate enough to progress in my career in terms of title, responsibilities and compensation that I imagine the next step would be a director role in a hybrid M&A/FP&A role. Long term I am thinking CFO or somewhere in that realm.

MBA is also a remote consideration but my career path makes it more difficult for me to really pursue one at this stage.

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Most Helpful
Mar 7, 2020

This has been talked about on this forum a little (so I would do a search to gain other perspective). I have worked at two separate companies (A large multinational company headquartered in the UK and a publicly traded growth company in the US). Both have been extremely differing experiences and in some ways complimentary.

I'd say for long term prospects, that is going to be highly company specific with the other driver being your personal ambitions. I have seen the following, again would be company specific:

  • VP level and Head of Corporate Development (basically topped out in the corporate chain)
  • Switch to an operational / commercial role (sometimes of a business they led an acquisition of )
  • Start up a corporate VC fund within same company
  • Switch careers all together (go into banking, PE, VC or another corporate finance role like FP&A).

I think one thing I would say is network hard within your company and make your own career path (you'll have to advocate for yourself since there isn't a clear path). Just because your particularly company tops out at VP doesn't mean there isn't an opportunity to make an executive Corporate Development role if you prove yourself.

Sorry for the sort of non-answer but Corporate Development is highly nuanced and company specific.

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Mar 7, 2020