Transition From Strategic Finance to Corp Dev / IB

Looking for tips for folks who have made this transition? I was lucky enough to get into strat fin out of UG, but I think I am done with the space personally. Looking to get into transactional roles like IB or CD. What would folks here recommend are some tips / tricks to make this move? What are key things to highlight? 

Comments (8)

  • Associate 1 in CorpFin
Jan 11, 2022 - 7:30pm

Definitely: 

-Extensive modeling (detailed rev modeling, OpEx forecasting, 3 statement projections)

-Deck building for investors, BoD, senior management

-Working on strategic initiatives (Driving go to mkt strategy, mkt sizing, pricing strategy)

-Ad Hoc projects w/ dept heads (ie: understanding drivers resulting in operational shortcomings and working cross functionally to put together strategies to alleviate these shortcomings)

-Not really a day to day but something I do is staying up to date with industry trends, finding available equity research to inform forecasting assumptions, public comp earnings calls

Curious to hear your thoughts

Jan 11, 2022 - 7:39pm

Can you change the title on your resume to "Corporate Development/Strategic Finance Associate"? That would give would-be employers a better understanding of what your role is because, to be frank, you're already in a quasi corporate development role.

I would start your resume with bullet points similar to those you already listed. You can then include a "selected project experience" section to detail some of the projects you worked on (e.g. if that detailed revenue modeling was for some sales initiatives, list that here together with the outcome of the initiative).

You should not have that much difficulty landing interviews. I would weave your modeling skills into every answer you give. I would also highlight your ability to work cross-functionally- not only are you working with IT, for example, you're building RIO analyses for their projects.

  • Associate 1 in CorpFin
Jan 11, 2022 - 8:23pm

Thanks this is really helpful! To your first point, I don't think that title wise I would be able to do that unfortunately, but I wish I could!

These points are super insightful, and I'm going to incorporate this moving forward. Also, with 2.5 yrs of exp in this space, do you think I could viably apply to AN2 roles in banking? I would love to not come in as an AN1 hahaha but curious your thoughts. 

Also, with corp dev roles, should I apply to associate or analyst roles mainly? 

Most Helpful
Jan 11, 2022 - 8:29pm

I think you could get away with a title change on your resume. I would not even categorize it as remotely dishonest as you are simply framing your experience. Think of it like choosing the best frame to show off that painting in your living room. Obviously not my call, though.

I would simply apply to any lateral analyst role that you see. It's not like you will be blackballed because the bank does not agree that you could apply for AN2 roles. You may find difficulty, though, as you will be competing against laterals from "no-name" boutiques who technically have more relevant experience. Similar situation for corp dev roles. Titles vary by firm in corp dev. You probably will not have much luck with manager and above roles, as you'll then be competing against candidates who have either successfully completed an IB analyst program or are currently IB associates, but you never know unless you apply. The war on talent is very real in this post-COVID world (if that's what you call it).

  • Analyst 2 in IB - Cov
Jan 11, 2022 - 8:41pm

I lateraled from consulting last year so have some insight. You shouldn't have a problem landing interviews, if they read the description you just wrote. Sounds like you're in more of a corpdev strategic finance than an FP&A linked strategic finance.

Think it's very important to tell your story from the corpdev side of strategic finance (not sure most bankers would understand the difference between the two right away).

Try to cast a wide net beyond networking and job postings. Would reach out to recruiters who can help get you into processes.

In regards to what level you'd come in as, think it depends on the bank but should be an A2. Would need to be able to ramp up quickly though.

  • Associate 1 in CorpFin
Jan 11, 2022 - 8:57pm

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