Making the transition from Investment Banking to Corporate Development/Strategy

clb75's picture
Rank: Monkey | 38

So moving from banking to PE/HF has been well documented. I know the PE networking process, while tough, is made easier for bankers due to the presence of headhunters, and many consulting firms have internal job boards for corporate development positions....

Can anyone talk a little about moving into a development/strategy role for a corporation after the 2 year analyst program?

  • Specifically how to land interviews and network for these jobs despite working 100hr weeks?
  • Are you pretty much stuck to trying to get in with clients that you covered in your industry group or are there smart ways to approach companies outside of that bubble?

Any advice or stories touching on this would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

Comments (34)

Nov 27, 2009

i would love to hear more about this.

Freeze those knees, my chickadees!

Nov 27, 2009

http://corporate.disney.go.com/corporate/bios/thom...
Somewhat related - CFO of Disney used to do IB at Morgan Stanley, looks like he had an MBA though.

Nov 27, 2009

Are you set on not getting a MBA? It seems that would be the easiest way.

Nov 29, 2009

I'd really rather not get an MBA and have my reasons.

But regardless, when I was an SA this summer, It seemed like 10-15% of 2nd year analysts left for these type of positions so I know it is very possible to do without getting an MBA.

Sidenote, I feel like Disney has a pretty legit/structured corp. development program. I've seen quite a few associate profiles on PE firm websites of people who came straight from Disney's Corp Dev program with no previous finance experience.

Nov 29, 2009

Most Fortune 500 companies have corporate strategy & development groups that exclusively hire former i-bankers and consultants at the pre and post-MBA levels. Hiring happens through company websites and/or headhunters.

I did 2 years of M/B/B then joined a group at Fortune 50.

feel free to pm your industry and any other questions you may have

Nov 29, 2009

raider4ever,

how do you like your new job? regards to pay/hours/life style/ culture/ potential to move up

Nov 29, 2009

Perspective based on being in the role for ~1 year.

Pay is better than consulting, but with a much lower trajectory over time.

Lifestyle is feast or famine: seems like we're either working 80 hour weeks or 40, with little insight into what any particular day/week/month will be like depending on project pipeline.

Culture is dependent on the composition of the particular group and management to which you report. Mine is all former M/B/B and BB i-bankers and we report to a demanding CFO. Folks want to have a life outside of work and strive to honor that, particularly those with kids. Working style is consulting-like, but without a lot of the extracurricular stuff (dinners, team events, etc).

Group is designed as a way to attract and incubate talent into the company. After ~1.5-3 years it's expected you either roll out into more of a "line" role (marketing, finance, etc) which will be essentially at the post-MBA level or move on to b-school.

Nov 29, 2009

raider4ever,

I can understand why they want ex consultants, but why bankers?
Do they make ex-bankers do modeling work or do you all do the same work?
Maybe they want ex bankers so they can be future finance managers.

BTW, thank you for your feedback -- this is one area that I know very little about

Nov 29, 2009

They want ex-bankers because corp dev is in-house M&A, so people with M&A experience (i.e. bankers) will bring a lot of useful skills and knowledge to the table.

Nov 29, 2009

The benefit of F500 companies is that they often post these types of jobs online. I'd suggest you pull up the corporate development job listings at Fortune 500 companies that interest you and take a look at the "Manager" or higher level postings. The required experience is usually listed.

Also -- if you can find the LinkedIn profiles of folks who hold the job you want, you can usually see their career progression. I've encountered a few mid-tier corp dev folks in my time that came from post-MBA banking backgrounds.

Nov 29, 2009

This might also be a good thread to check out:

http://www.wallstreetoasis.com/forums/the-other-ro...

Nov 29, 2009

Thanks so much CompBanker. As helpful as always.

Nov 29, 2009

I'll cast my vote for the corporate dev position.

Nov 29, 2009

corporate dev.

Nov 29, 2009

I'll go with corp dev too. You could probably use the break and it seem that you would benefit from the name/experience should you decide to go to bschool. Good luck.

Regards

Nov 29, 2009

Thanks for all your responses. If I move to corp dev, am I burning future opportunities (post-MBA) to work in IB? Is corp dev to PE a rare circumstance?

Nov 29, 2009

I hope PE/VC firms start valuing strong industry exp corp. dev exp. I might be starting at a f500 (biotech) and hoping to do VC/PE biotech/pharama down the road.

Nov 29, 2009

VC firms definitely value corp dev, though likely limited to that specific industry. Not sure about PE. I think people should stop worrying about particular paths and just excel at what they do. Think about it - if you amass a large amount of industry expertise and have access to a strong network, why wouldn't PE or VC firms consider you a value add?

Array

Nov 29, 2009

Business schools will view the move in a positive light. Having the unique work experience (i.e., IB and industry) is a differentiator to which bschools attribute value.

I think there is a wide band as to what comp would look like. A very rough estimate - based on a small sample size - would lead me to believe you'd be looking at ~$100k.

Nov 29, 2009

anyone else?

    • 1
Nov 29, 2009

Agreed with

Nov 29, 2009

Both Corp Dev and MM PE are viable exit ops.

Nov 29, 2009

Corporate development is definitely an alternative, however in most cases these positions are filled from internal candidates who already have a good understanding of the business. So openings are few and far between. I happen to be an exception, now working in corp development at a Fortune 500 after previously being at an IB.

Nov 29, 2009
blackcleo:

Corporate development is definitely an alternative, however in most cases these positions are filled from internal candidates who already have a good understanding of the business. So openings are few and far between. I happen to be an exception, now working in corp development at a Fortune 500 after previously being at an IB.

i am an analyst at a MM bank, and if corporate development is pretty hard to get into and so it PE, where the hell do us ibanking analysts go who do not want to stay in banking their entire life

Nov 29, 2009

I'm a big believer in growth. Life is not about achievement, it's about learning and growth, and developing qualities like compassion, patience, perseverance, love, and joy, and so forth. And so if that is the case, then I think our goals should include something which stretches us.
Jack Canfield - Learning - Goals - Belief - Growth - Achievement - Compassion - Persistence - Patience - Love

Nov 29, 2009

sweet man, great quote ... ???

Nov 29, 2009

What does that quote have to do with anything?

  • eyelikecheese
  •  Nov 29, 2009

Amazing quote

Nov 29, 2009
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