Corp. Dev. to PE

For anyone who has gone down this path, I would love to hear your thoughts and experiences transitioning from Corp. Dev. to PE.

A little more detail to sentence above:

While being in the Corp. Dev. role (Less than year) has been intriguing from the standpoint of getting familiar with a new industry and buyside for a corporation, I have been lately thinking about making the move to PE. My hesitation is that while I may find the work more interesting "per se" (at least depending on fund), I worry that I may also being going through a "grass is greener" mentality. I been considering lately but have a slight hesitation that I may have a case of the "grass being greener"

Thanks for any and all comments.

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Oct 29, 2015 - 2:41pm

Jump from Corp Dev to PE? (Originally Posted: 03/01/2016)

Just wondering if anyone has made that switch and what it was like, pre- or post- MBA. Or if anyone in PE has interviewed candidates with corp dev experience and how that was like...

Oct 29, 2015 - 2:43pm

Thanks, that's useful. I assume you would have the same set of interview process and possibly start from the bottom?

Oct 29, 2015 - 2:44pm

Yeah, similar interview process. And you would likely take a step back (not sure necessarily start from the bottom). For example, I know a guy that did 2 years of corp dev after 2 years of IB. He started at his PE firm as a year 1 associate. If you did maybe 4 or 5 years and closed a lot of deals, I doubt you'd start as a 1st year associate.

Oct 29, 2015 - 2:45pm

Corporate development to Private Equity? (Originally Posted: 10/29/2013)

How difficult is it to move from corporate development to PE? I currently have an offer for a corporate development role and am interested in PE in long-term. I don't have traditional IB background, but have industry experience and undergrad in finance & accounting.

Oct 29, 2015 - 2:50pm

@Bullet-Tooth Tony
Recently received a Project Dev/Corp Dev offer for a renewable energy infrastructure startup and am highly considering making the jump. Amazing culture/mission, extremely talented management team but below-average pay cut from IBD. My main concern is that I would be turning my back on PE/infrastructure fund opportunities down the road...I know that the renewable space is where I want to be long-term, whether or not that's in Corp Dev type role or on the buy side.

PE/Infrastructure funds aren't necessarily my end goal, I'm just worried about shutting too many doors this early in my career. I'm just finishing my first year at MM Energy IBD and am worried about jumping too early.

Oct 29, 2015 - 2:49pm

Same question here and would be good to see how you get on with the new role and eventually the transition.

Gotta be damn good at it - Go Corp Dev.
Oct 29, 2015 - 2:55pm

top corp development-> pe? (Originally Posted: 02/07/2010)

How hard would it be to transition from a company with a large/respected corp development group (IBM, Google, Intel, etc), to PE?

For example, do you think that the name of the firm would carry equal weight to put you in league with guys coming from MM/BB's?


Oct 29, 2015 - 2:56pm

It can definitely happen -- I've seen quite a few associates at MM PE firms with corp dev backgrounds. They're generally coming from the top tech companies and generally place well into tech-focused groups.

Oct 29, 2015 - 2:57pm

At places like GE, if you have exposure to GE capital, the opportunity for transition is definitely there.

For IBM/Google/Intel, you can play up tech industry experience in lateraling to a tech PE firm.

A top corp dev job at a well known firm is just a cut below McK, Bain, BCG and the top Bulge Brackets, as the networks from ex-banker sand ex-consultants tend to be more developed at PE firms that the path from corp dev to PE.

That said, it's definitely possible - network network network!

Oct 29, 2015 - 2:58pm

CorpDev-->PE (Originally Posted: 07/13/2008)

How often do ppl transition from CorpDev to PE at a more senior level (say 3-5 years post MBA)? Do people want to make this change at all? Or it is better to have a good paying job and better life than to make tons but have no life in PE (compared to a 50 hour week)?

Another Q: How often is a corp dev role mixed with a bus dev role (2 in 1)?
I am guessing it is more common at smaller companies than at the giants. Anyone? Any info on this?

Oct 29, 2015 - 2:59pm

I have often asked myself if the transition from CD to PE is possible. For megafunds I think this would be pretty rare but I'm sure it happens in the middle market. If you take the time to read the bio's of private equity people on their websites you will see that many come from backrounds outside of banking. The question of whether X Job can possibly lead to PE is constantly asked on this board and the response is usually no. However, I think people don't recognize the fact that for the middle market, entry is possible from other career fields.

Oct 29, 2015 - 3:00pm

"If you take the time to read the bio's of private equity people on their websites you will see that many come from backrounds outside of banking."

Yeah, like former prime minister? Seriously, the backgrounds of people who come in at the partner level are all over the place, but we're not talking about a candidate with years and years of impressive experience here.

Oct 29, 2015 - 3:01pm

"Seriously, the backgrounds of people who come in at the partner level are all over the place, but we're not talking about a candidate with years and years of impressive experience here."

Your exactly right. We are talking about pre-mba and post-mba associates. They have bios on many PE Fund websites and yes some do come from backrounds other than Banking and Management Consulting. I am referring to middle market funds. I spoke to an MBA student at Wharton a few weeks ago who worked in Transaction Services and he said that 3 out of 6 members of his transaction team left the firm for private equity, and not some bullshit controller or accounting job.

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