Salaries for Corporate Finance post-MBA?

I'm interested in doing an MBA and then working at a consulting firm for a couple years. After that I want to switch to Corp finance, corp dev, or corp strat. How much do people make in these corporate jobs? When should I expect to break $200k? Where do most max out at?

Corporate Finance Salary Post MBA

Pay at senior the senior levels of corporate finance varies. It depends on both the structure and size of the firm. Therefore it's hard to make statements that apply across the board. However, we'll highlight some figures that have posted by some of our certified corporate finance users. These posts focus on the most senior positions within corporate finance.

from certified user @Poff

Directors at my company clear $200K all-in. ~$180K + 35% YE.

from certified user @Eskimo Brothers

I'll provide some figures from my time in Corp Fin at a F500 with over $10B in rev.

Director - $180k base w/ 35% bonus + stock options.
VP - $225k base, unsure of bonus as it's not accessible. At a minimum you could assume 35% + stock options as well.
SVP - $350k base + bonus + stock options.
President/top SVP of finance was at roughly $500k base.
CFO - ~ $1M base usually with bonuses and incentives that put them in the $3M-3.5M in a good year.

from anonymous monkey

I'm a Manager, 3 years post MBA from a top 20 program. All-in I'm at $150 at an F100. Senior Managers are in the $160-$200 ball park. Directors $200-$240. Sr. Directors $240-300. VP's $300-450. SVP's 500-1M.

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Comments (32)

May 20, 2014

Also interested.

May 20, 2014

I'm finding out that this varies a decent amount by company, but for $200k are you looking at salary or all-in?

If you're looking at Salary, I'd say it'll take VP level. If you're looking at all-in comp then Director level can probably get you there.

twitter: @CorpFin_Guy

May 22, 2014

Those three areas are all different and require different skills. Consulting to corp strat is the most obvious transition. It would be a pay cut from 3 years post mba consulting (150-175k) to come in as a manger 130-145k. Director might get you there all in and vp would for sure (a lot more people think they make it here than do).

May 28, 2014

Ignorant question - Is VP above Director in F500? I'm used to the structure of professional services firms.

May 28, 2014

Yes

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May 29, 2014

A friend at a non-F500 NYSE traded company (~$3B rev) in corporate finance all in makes about $350k. Mid to late 30's, VP CF & Treasurer, but I think the company is a bit top heavy and pays the HQ guys a lot. This is anecdotal of course but in operating companies in CF, strategy and development it fluctuates pretty wildly depending on the size of the company, location, sector, public/private etc that it's pretty tough to nail down solid numbers. If you get involved in a lower MM PE owned company it can fluctuate even more wildly: we've paid what would be a $150k max position (think controller, fp&a) in any other company of a comparable size a multiple of that to come in to fix a company we bought from a private seller because they had experience in and could actually do the work to implement systems and controls for the company. That type of thing isn't a long term position (not a few months but a couple of years, not a lifetime) but they're in high demand and constantly get poached.

Best Response
  • Anonymous Monkey
  •  Jul 11, 2016

Only in the most "podunk" company would a Controller or FP&A Director max out at $150k. Why does everyone on WSO think Controller's don't make anything? I'm approaching $200k at a tiny company only 7 years post graduation as a Controller, and I am being pestered to take higher paying jobs at other companies. This is in a very average cost of living market.

I used to be upset with myself for not getting an MBA until I realized how full of @#$#! most of the posters on WSO are about opportunities outside of Wall Street.

    • 2
Dec 27, 2014

$200k all in (with bonus) you would be looking at a VP level. My instinct tells me that at the Director level, you'd still come up a little short. Maybe at Senior Director level at a F100 firm.

Going from consulting to industry after a few years, you'd likely be coming in at the Director level. I'd estimate it would be around the $150k all-in, which is not bad, but probably not an increase over what you were making as a 3rd year consultant. The upside is you probably won't hate your job, your peers, and your life after making the switch.

Dec 29, 2014

Director after 3 years in consulting seems like a bit of a stretch, assuming the normal analyst -> manager -> director progression. From what I've seen it'll take more like a minimum of 5 years in consulting to make the jump at the director level,

Jul 11, 2016

Also very curious. Would love to hear about opportunities, career trajectories, etc.

Thanks guys!

Jul 11, 2016

exxon is known for great comp

Jul 11, 2016

what kind of positions are you asking about? corp dev/strat in O&G?

Jul 11, 2016
i hate audit:

what kind of positions are you asking about? corp dev/strat in O&G?

Corp fin

Jul 11, 2016

I'm talking about the MBA rotational program. I think all or most of the big oil companies have such programs. I think you have stints in Corp Fin, Corp Dev and Treasury....

Any compensation numbers??

Jul 11, 2016

anyone??

Jul 11, 2016

At the majors, think ~125-130k base, with a 10-15% bonus. XOM is a little higher base but lower bonus. Sign-ons can be very generous, especially when moving benefits are factored in. International assignments (in or out of a rotation) can increase your after-tax comp by 100-150%.

Dec 27, 2014

Directors at my company clear $200K all-in. ~$180K + 35% YE.

Dec 29, 2014

I'll provide some figures from my time in Corp Fin at a F500 with over $10B in rev.

Director - $180k base w/ 35% bonus + stock options.
VP - $225k base, unsure of bonus as it's not accessible. At a minimum you could assume 35% + stock options as well.
SVP - $350k base + bonus + stock options.
President/top SVP of finance was at roughly $500k base.
CFO - ~ $1M base usually with bonuses and incentives that put them in the $3M-3.5M in a good year.

Dec 29, 2014
Eskimo Brothers:

I'll provide some figures from my time in Corp Fin at a F500 with over $10B in rev.

Director - $180k base w/ 35% bonus + stock options.

VP - $225k base, unsure of bonus as it's not accessible. At a minimum you could assume 35% + stock options as well.

SVP - $350k base + bonus + stock options.

President/top SVP of finance was at roughly $500k base.

CFO - ~ $1M base usually with bonuses and incentives that put them in the $3M-3.5M in a good year.

My similar F500 is similar rev with probably less brand name, but the compensation is probably a little higher than that given the lean structure of the business. Definitely a great general estimate though.

Dec 29, 2014

Just curious but how long does it usually take to get to the director level? I know it probably varies by size, etc. but maybe someone has a rough idea?

Dec 29, 2014
Lester Freamon:

Just curious but how long does it usually take to get to the director level? I know it probably varies by size, etc. but maybe someone has a rough idea?

Most people don't make it past Manager. The quickest to Director that I've seen personally was 7 years, but that was with getting an MBA prior to starting at the company. I've also seen 8 years without an MBA. Those are both extreme cases. I'd say for most people, 10-12 years is a very good progression. There really is no set rule. In my mind, the more important #s are how quickly you can make it to senior financial analyst, and then manager. Those that make director very quickly, usually make manager within 5 years, giving them 3-5 years at that level before taking the next step. Also, keep in mind, that many of the people that rise that quickly, do so partially because they are willing to take jobs that not everyone wants to do. That includes jobs at plants/remote locations, or boring accounting heavy jobs that give them very valuable skill-sets.

Dec 30, 2014

@"Eskimo Brothers" is that 10-12 years post-MBA?

Dec 30, 2014

Thanks for the response. Just curious, but is the CPA credential valued much in corporate finance? Right now I'm at a Big 4 and am hoping to finish up my CPA and continue working in public for at least 3 years. Then I'm hoping to move into FP&A and maybe get an MBA down the road if need be. My question I guess is how much weight does a CPA alone carry and is combining it with an MBA a good way to set oneself apart from his or her peers? My goal is basically just to work my way to becoming the CFO of a division/plant someday.

Dec 30, 2014
Eskimo Brothers:
Lester Freamon:

Just curious but how long does it usually take to get to the director level? I know it probably varies by size, etc. but maybe someone has a rough idea?

Most people don't make it past Manager. The quickest to Director that I've seen personally was 7 years, but that was with getting an MBA prior to starting at the company. I've also seen 8 years without an MBA. Those are both extreme cases. I'd say for most people, 10-12 years is a very good progression. There really is no set rule. In my mind, the more important #s are how quickly you can make it to senior financial analyst, and then manager. Those that make director very quickly, usually make manager within 5 years, giving them 3-5 years at that level before taking the next step. Also, keep in mind, that many of the people that rise that quickly, do so partially because they are willing to take jobs that not everyone wants to do. That includes jobs at plants/remote locations, or boring accounting heavy jobs that give them very valuable skill-sets.

You say most people don't make it past Manager. Could you elaborate on this.? What do the people that do not make it past Manager and how does their future comp look? Thanks

Dec 31, 2014

Do you know have any experience with people coming in from credit background (corporate / commercial banking) . I'm in corp. banking and have seen a few credit officers take capital markets / treasury type roles in F500. Have you seen people making these types of transitions and if so what level / salary range would someone come in from an Associate position (equiv. to IBD associate), i am assuming they'd come in as a SFA.

  • Anonymous Monkey
  •  Sep 28, 2015
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    • 1