Corporate Dev and Strat Compensation Update

anonguytoibd's picture
Rank: King Kong | 1,223

I'm recruiting right now and wanted to get an updated set of comps in order to compare potential offers. There was another thread last year, and I thought the figures quoted there were somewhat below market. I have since realized that even within certain industries pay is highly variable, often seemingly without rhyme or reason, at least at a cursory glance, and determining "fair" market compensation is hard to accomplish. But to make this thread as useful as possible to everyone, please list your title, department, years of experience, industry (general or specific), total comp, and if you are comfortable, general location or type of area.

1) Associate
2) Corporate development & strategy
3) 3+
4) Financial services
5) $165k all in ($150k cash and $15k equity comp.)
6) Tier 1 metro

Edit: It would also be great to hear if you work in partnerships, business line level strategy, or any other corporate development or corporate strategy adjacent functions.

Comments (15)

Sep 25, 2019

I think you are going to continue to see compensation all over the place for these types of roles. Typically, corporations have pay bands they have to work with - which goes without saying is most likely a huge drop off from banking / strategy consulting. So that's why you are seeing comp that is perceived as low.

In alot of cases a Director of Accounting will get paid just as much as a Director of Corporate Development at a company. I think there maybe some cases where a company will realize CD / CS is a very specific background and adjust comp accordingly but most who are want to move to CD / CS place much more value on lifestyle than comp.

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Sep 25, 2019

I understand what you are saying about pay bands and lower compensation. My comment about low comp was already considering a significant drop off from banking and consulting. And I know figures are going to be all over the place but it would be good to compare data points across industries or see if one is more variable than the other.

Recently, I was flat out told that I should stay in "investments and banking" by HR at an entertainment firm that I probably would have taken a pay cut to work at because they thought I was crazy to ask for $140k base for a senior associate II role. I have a hunch media and entertainment companies across the board probably don't pay as well, but I was surprised to get shut down so hard.

Sep 25, 2019

Got it, didn't mean to derail your thread.

Your experience is pretty much how I would expect the majority of HR to react. As they just think of Corp Dev as a finance role, so pay should be similar to any other finance/accounting role. Which I get, since in Corp Dev we aren't investing for returns or selling companies for big fees. I would suspect that entertainment companies are probably on the lower end of the pay grade while tech companies are on the higher end.

I think at some point I'm probably going to need to hire an analyst/associate and I am dreading having to manage good experience with corporate pay/bands.

Sep 26, 2019

Are you all trying to say that HR and CD / CS firms in general don't really take into account the years of IB that many applicants have done? People should be compensated for their work experience appropriately.

Sep 26, 2019

He's saying that you will get compensated at a defined title and seniority across a broader division (e.g., CFO) or an entire firm regardless of your banking experience. So for example, an FP&A analyst III could get paid the same as a corporate development analyst III.

However, it is important to note that companies who are concerned with attracting and keeping the best talent will bring in people at a higher level to get around pay bands. Another thing to keep in mind is that if the head of corporate development is a C-suite executive, you will probably get paid better as a M&A professional because they could have a separate pay structure for juniors, not always though, than the CFO's organization.

There are more variables and none of this stuff is set in stone, so that's why I wanted to get more insight into different trends.

Sep 26, 2019

I agree, if you have a leader who is high enough within the organization who knows the cost for talent from banking / consulting - they can push for higher comp.

I think its a bit rare to see a corp dev person on the executive level though.

Most Helpful
Sep 27, 2019

Your comp looks really good for someone with just 3ish years of experience.

1) Manager (post-MBA role so prob similar to Associate)

2) Corporate Strategy - business line level strategy

3) 7 years work experience plus a top 10 MBA

4) TMT

5) $180k - $195k all in ($150k base and $30k - $45k bonus)

6) Suburbs about an hour outside of a Tier 1 city, would expect a ~10% bump in comp if I switched to an identical role located in a Tier 1 city

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Oct 1, 2019

I believe my cash comp is inline for my particular niche - give or take 5% to 10%. Your FAANG comp seems right for post MBA as well. I'm sure there are outliers as I've heard that some companies are open to significant negotiation or will just create roles for people. It would be interesting to see some of those extremes. And personally, I'm not necessarily concerned with maximizing total comp as I value experience more but am not trying to get fleeced either as there is a lot of opaqueness in pay data.

Oct 1, 2019

Just switched from IBD to CD

  1. Manager (Post-MBA)
  2. Corporate Development
  3. Less than a year in CD but 3.5 years in IBD
  4. Energy
  5. $175K all in ($145K base + 20% bonus ; no equity)
  6. Tier 2 in Midwest
Oct 8, 2019

KingKang, did you do IBD for 3.5 years, then MBA and straight to CD? Or is your 3.5 years all post MBA ibd? If it is the latter, that is quite the paycut...

Jan 13, 2020

My first post in a long time...

1) Senior Manager

2) Corporate Development

3) ~6 years work experience plus MBA

4) Tech

5) $225K all-in ($180K base). My company is known to be generous

6) SF/NY

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Jan 26, 2020

Curious to hear any other examples. Currently interviewing for manager role strategy Corp dev with a major medical device firm.

Jan 27, 2020

If I had to ballpark something, it would be something around $120k w/ 15-20% target bonus

Jan 27, 2020