Exiting Investment Banking to Corp Fin / Corp Strat / Corp Dev

Burner account. Thinking about exiting my lower bulge IB Associate coverage role to a corporate job (finance, development, strategy, or any mix thereof). I've spent 2+ years here, top bucket, did my MBA at top 15 program. Open to most industries, but want to stay in NYC. Have a few questions below, but happy to answer any questions y'all might have.

  1. Does anyone have tips on how to initiate the process? I've noticed a lot of the HH inbounds I get are for buyside or lateral moves. Is it as simple as just resume dropping and networking with whomever I happen to know at the company?

  2. What are interviews like for candidates in my situation? Imagine it might be more technical / deal experience related for CD, but not sure about CF/CS roles.

  3. Pay expectations? Realize this will be all over the map but was looking at page 8 of this: 2018 compensation report Seems like 175 + 20% is in the park?

  4. Does it make sense to time up around bonus? Would rather not walk away from $100-150 if possible, but realize this job market is much thinner than if working on a lateral move where that accrued bonus may be included in comp.

  5. Does title matter? I've seem Sr. Associate through Sr. Manager roles that seem like I have the right experience. Obviously will be company to company, but just not sure what I should be looking for or if it even matters.

  6. With respect to CF / CD / CS, it seems like a lot of places have some crossover between groups. Is there a good way to tell what it'll be like before going through networking / interview work?

  7. How long do you think an exit will take? I've seen others from my group lateral in what seems like a couple of weeks, buyside opportunities may take a bit longer. I don't have a good feel for these roles, however. I'd rather not stick around for VP...

Tagging a few that I think might be able to help: EarLoeb BankerC159 Pmc2ghy MMBanker14 Esuric td12 Sil

Feel free to add others - know there are more of you out there.


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Comments (24)

Aug 16, 2018 - 3:50pm

Can't really harp on anything here aside from #6.

Still just starting out in a CF program but I can attest to the fact that there is a lot of crossover. For example our LOB Corp Strat director and his team will work with multiple different groups from risk / legal / ops / finance etc (probably different at a smaller firm but at any major corporation everything is its own silo). Pretty difficult to tell beforehand unless you're given a pretty clear understanding of the role. (I can say if I back tracked and did a linkedin / google search of any one of the programs that fed into our CF / CS teams or any of the directors that ran those teams those search results would maybe reveal 10% of what the role entails).

In terms of comp... not too sure what the markup for NYC is but it seems high (unless you have MBA + 2 year banking + prior experience) if you stepped in as a VP (4+ish years experience) then the comp number after factoring in the NYC markup seems accurate.

Most Helpful
Aug 16, 2018 - 3:59pm
  1. research companies that have CD or CS teams and reach out directly. don't necessarily limit yourself to F500. you can get solid experience/comp at other places.
  2. this depends...if the CD group is comprised of primarily bankers/consultants then i would expect a heavier emphasis on technicals. if it's led by a FP&A guys then perhaps not.
  3. i'm not exactly clear on your full work experience. but i'd assume you'd come in at manager or senior manager depending on how well you interview. check out some of the CF threads that have salary ranges. generally CD/CS roles pay a slight premium vs. typical CF roles. at the manager/sr manager level you should expect bonus anywhere 10-25%ish depending on the firm.
  4. not sure what you mean by time up...do you mean wait until 1Q19 to get your bonus and then recruit? that would be ideal, but keep in mind CD/CS roles recruit on an ad-hoc basis, so if you see a role you like, then i wouldnt wait to start the process.
  5. aim to come in at least at the manager level. that said, you don't have deal experience so this is be contingent on how well you sell yourself and interview.
  6. this is true. some companies blend M&A with strategy and sometimes even corporate ventures. read the job req and search on linkedin.
  7. this is very much on a case by case basis.
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May 3, 2021 - 11:58pm

I agree with this.

Smaller companies may not pay as much but you won't know until you interview (ask them what value they have in mind for the role).

My employer (F50) has CS, CD, and CVC all in one org. I'd like to think this is because you need a "strategic lens" to really succeed in those roles. Hoping to get into those areas myself

Aug 16, 2018 - 10:29pm

Total years of work experience? I'm at a F100 and they don't interview anyone for manager with less than 8 years exp. 10 for senior. Obviously companies vary.

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Aug 17, 2018 - 9:32am

for CD/CS or CF? i can see that for CF. but good luck trying to bring in somebody with M&A or consulting experience and paying them an SFA salary. companies have to bring in candidates for CD/CS roles at a higher level albeit less total years work experience because otherwise its way too much of a pay reduction.

Aug 17, 2018 - 8:37pm

For CF. For CD, they have a "principle". Still not a manager or senior manager. Now I'm not saying that you couldn't and no remote possibility land a manager drive but I am saying with that level of work experience you're definitely not going to be at a senior manager.

Aug 17, 2018 - 8:40pm

Also keep in mind the range for senior analyst is probably 70,000 to 120,000

Aug 17, 2018 - 1:57am

Thanks for the responses. Probably should've been more clear with my experience. I did 4 years pre-MBA in engineering and finance. 2 years at MBA, then 2 years in IB. Definitely have some deal experience from my time in IB.

Again appreciate the responses. Very helpful. Let me know if anyone else has something to add.

Aug 18, 2018 - 3:13pm

Agree. I have a similar background/work experience to you, AllBurnedUp, and am seeing Manager of Finance or Corp. Dev. Manager level rolls for people with a few years of post-MBA IB experience.

I've also seen a fellow Associate land a Director of Finance roll at a small PE backed portfolio company. You are not going to see that at larger public companies.

Aug 24, 2018 - 5:24pm

Re: #2

Context: I work in pharma/biotech corp dev. Our group is roughly 50% former bankers/consultants and 50% people who have worked in the industry. This stuff is coming from my experience, so please chime in if anyone has any thoughts

When our group looked at candidates with your experience in the past we generally assume that the finance/accounting technical prowess is there. The most important aspect we want to gauge is the candidate's interest/experience in the industry. Candidates coming in at your level are the ones who will be taking on deal sourcing responsibilities and driving M&A strategy of the company alongside the group heads.

Aug 24, 2018 - 5:25pm

What title and pay for lateraling from IBD to Corp Fin (Originally Posted: 11/27/2017)

Hey, So I've spent the last 2 years in the IBD division at a EB and I am about done with this work lifestyle- I can't even have a relationship. I've decided that I really want to switch to Corp Fin/Strategy and help develop a specific business. I am only worried that I will have to start at the bottom like my friends did out of undergrad accepting jobs at f500 companies. Would it be better for me to hurry up on MBA applications and get into CD post MBA or look into Corp Fin/strategy right now and if so, what would title and pay would I be looking at? (I don't care so much about the money as long as I don't start at the bottom feeling like my last 2 years have been worthless?

Aug 24, 2018 - 5:27pm

I transitioned from a FLDP Analyst to a Sr. Corp Strat Analyst. (Different industries, same city). And my understanding from the process is that there is no set program, or recruitment cycle for these type of transitions. My advice for you is to set up job alerts for Sr. Analyst, Sr. Corp Dev Analyst, Sr. Corp Strat Analyst roles on job search websites like Indeed dot com and apply to anything you find interesting. That's how I did it.

I can't comment about pay since I did not come from IB. It was in line with what I expected. Would expect 80-90K for Sr Anayst and about 10-15% bonus. Lifestyle is pretty good. 50 hours a week on avg.

Also, go look at companies/industries you find interesting. I'm sure they have Corp Dev roles you could apply to. Since you worked at an EB, no harm applying to Manager roles as well.

Aug 24, 2018 - 5:28pm

I'm copying Sil for his perspectives, as he has also been a treasure trove of information when it comes to corp dev/corp strat exits.

In my 1.5 years at the firm I've had two very close friends exit to corp strat/corp dev. They are both are the senior analyst level and have been quite happy with their move. Ultimately, you will end up taking a bit of a haircut in comp (they are both NYC so their package was ~$100k base + 15-25% bonus + stock if I had it correct, but you can expect somewhere closer to $100k all in at a non-nyc/low COL area).

My understanding is that corp dev/corp strat folks are thought of as high profile/potential performers within the organization, and are seen as a bit of a building ground to accelerate your career within another operating division within the same company or a comparable role with a higher comp/title at another one.

Ultimately I think corporate development would be an excellent option for you if you are looking for a lifestyle improvement along with a very reputable compensation. the overall experience (2 years of banking + 2 years corp dev) could position you to either a top MBA or a manager/senior manager role a few years down the line, where I think folks are pulling somewhere between $170-200+ K with a 40-50 hour workweek. Certainly a very comfortable and engaging path for certain :)

There's a closer meaning to my user name. Try reading it quickly. Perhaps you will then understand ;P
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Aug 24, 2018 - 5:29pm

Which corp dev position to choose post IB? (Originally Posted: 10/17/2017)

Sup monkeys. Hoping to get some thoughts on two positions that I have offers for. I did 2 years at a top MM IB (think Baird, Blair, Jefferies) and am trying to decide between 2 corp dev offers for my next role.

First offer is for one of the largest health insurers (think United, Anthem, Aetna), while the other is for a gaming/lodging company (think Caesars, MGM, Wynn). I want to get my MBA in 2-3 years, so I'm thinking the health insurer is the smarter move given the robustness of its industry and the higher rank on the F500 list, but I'm leaning towards the gaming/lodging company because I like that industry and location much more. Comp, benefits, etc. are all basically the same.

Thoughts? Really appreciate it.

Aug 24, 2018 - 5:30pm

I would go with the group with greater clout unless you think you'd be absolutely miserable. However working in gaming and lodging definitely sounds more exciting.

“The only thing I know is that I know nothing, and i am no quite sure that i know that.” Socrates
Aug 24, 2018 - 5:32pm

Leveraging IB to Corp Fin - Opportunities? (Originally Posted: 06/30/2013)


I'm currently an analyst at a top middle-market investment bank focused on M&A in the Industrial space. I enjoy my work and the people I work with, but I'm not sure if the banking lifestyle (90hr weeks) is attractive to me for the long-term.

So, I wanted to reach out to see what the opportunities are in the corp-fin universe at a top F500 for a pre-MBA with 2 years of IB experience. I attended a top state school and graduated w/ a 3.9. Also, I completed internships w/ Merrill Lynch (PWM) and Siemens Industry (internship that feeds their FLDP program).

Would also be interested in relative compensation ranges as well.

Thanks in advance for your thoughts.

Kind regards,


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