What level in Corp Dev after 2 years banking + 2 years PE?

If I wanted to move into corp dev / strategy after finishing my PE associate stint (with or without an MBA after) what level would that equate to within an F1000 or Middle Market hierarchy? Would this be an almost certain paycut from the ~$250-300 a PE associate makes or are there any roles with comparable comp?

Financial Modeling Course

  • Get An Edge For Your Interviews & Finance Career
  • The Best (and Most Affordable) Financial Modeling Self-study Courses.
  • WSO Members receive a 15% discount

Comments (42)

Sep 30, 2018

Interested as well!

Oct 1, 2018

this one is kinda tricky. on paper you only have 4 years experience which probably translates to senior analyst as far as HR is concerned. obviously you have high quality experience and your comp is a multiple of what most SFA receive given you're coming from PE. you would really need the hiring manager to push for you to come in at a higher level - managers typically have 6-9 years experience and sr managers/directors have 8-10+ years experience depending on their backgrounds. either way, yes you should expect a haircut if 250-300 is your starting point. this is the trade-off when switching to corporate finance - comp vs. better hours.

Oct 8, 2018

Have seen multiple (3+) in this timeline come in at a director or senior director level.

At a minimum you should be a senior manager.

If they imply any less laugh and walk away.

Oct 8, 2018

100% agree. If you have that experience and take a senior analyst role, you are making a huge mistake.

Oct 1, 2018

I agree somebody with that experience is crazy for taking a SFA role. My point is HR doesn't differentiate between IB/PE and will only see 4 years of finance experience. Therefore a candidate really would need the hiring manager to push his application through the process and get a sr manager or director title approved to even be remotely close to competitive on comp.

Learn More

Side-by-side comparison of top modeling training courses + exclusive discount through WSO here.

Oct 8, 2018

Director with $250 - $300K

    • 2
Oct 8, 2018

@Esuric, perhaps my F500 firm is a bit different and promotes more quickly, but is $250k-$300k pretty normal for directors? Our directors tend to start at $140k-$150k. It goes analyst>manager>director>VP>SVP for corp dev at my firm if it matters.

Oct 8, 2018

There's a huge variation in corp dev comp depending on the sophistication of HR. Some firms treat it as basically a finance function, comparable to FP&A and treasury and compensate it as such. Other firms are more sophisticated and require/demand a more technical skill set and recognize the market value of the strategy/modeling capabilities. With a PE background, you should only consider the latter type of firm. Honestly, you will be bored and dissatisfied if you don't.

That said, $140K for director sounds low to me at any firm. I can tell you that I was recently approached for a cop dev gig in NY (director) that offered $250k to $300k base with a point of equity on every deal. I wasn't selected to proceed in the process but it's a data point.

    • 1
Oct 8, 2018

There was an excellent thread not too long ago that really expanded on what Esuric mentioned above - hell maybe he wrote it, I forgot.

In any case - all to say that corp. dev. / strat. varies WIDELY from firm to firm so it's a particularly difficult question to answer. All you can really do is gauge from a variety of responses. If it were my firm, F1000 energy company, you would likely be some kind of a senior manager (senior is a BS title add on honestly) and fall somewhere in the 150-225 number year one (don't forget RSUs, bonus, etc. above salary). Additionally, if it was a lean organization and you had the freedom to prove yourself, it could be a simple year to director (again, my firm in particular, and event actually witnessed).

    • 1
Most Helpful
Oct 8, 2018

You'd come in as a Manager or Sr Manager at most F500s. And yes expect a drop off. Comp varies a lot, but base would probably range anywhere from 115-170 most likely depending on industry, size of firm, and location.

    • 6
Oct 10, 2018

Comps varies by size of the firm and industry. I know multipe people at 2 household F100 tech giants who did IB and started as Manager or IB and MM PE and came in as Senior Manager. Manager salary in 125-130's and Sr. Manager 150-165's. These are base figures, bonus on after tax basis is laughable.. PM for more info

Oct 11, 2018

Hey OP - I think best case would be coming in as a Sr Manager ( all-in comp at my company would be ~$190-210k).

I think it'd be really tough to come in as a Director straight from PE.

    • 1
Oct 11, 2018

Hey OP - I think best case would be coming in as a Sr Manager ( all-in comp at my company would be ~$190-210k).

I think it'd be really tough to come in as a Director straight from PE.

EDIT: I should have noted "Director at an F1000 company". I definitely think you could do it at a private company.

Learn More

Side-by-side comparison of top modeling training courses + exclusive discount through WSO here.

Oct 11, 2018

Just prepare to be underwhelmed.

Oct 11, 2018

It is so good to work in corporate in the states and get such high comps.
In asia, ibd analysts making 8k base fresh a month and 3 years experience in corp dev makes less than 5k even at f100 mnc

Oct 11, 2018

These 250+ comp ranges seem more like anomalies, I think even 200+ is probably less likely than not. I think the base of 115-150, likely more towards the 115 and then a bonus of 10-30% is more realistic.

Also, all the comments about HR not knowing anything are totally off base. Corporate jobs are not finance job - just because you make 200+ with 4 years of experience does not mean you're "worth" that in a corporate role. One might personally not accept a job because the pay is too low but undoubtedly it will be accepted at that pay by an equally experienced person. In fact, one could argue that HR is the smart one in the room by no over paying a junior person that thinks they are worth more than they are.

Exact same thing in law - you go in house you're taking in upwards of 50% pay cut.

    • 1
Oct 16, 2018

Disagree. A good CD team is critical and deserve the premium. Trying to go cheap actually destroys value for the company IMO. But of course it will be a downgrade on the pay from IB/PE at first no doubt because it's a different lifestyle, you do less hours etc... but choosing the right company and getting RSUs/options can make your overall comp pretty attractive if you're ready to commit to the place.

EDIT: There are a couple cheap guys that were hired last year and they bring in no value whatsoever which probably leads to missed opportunities for shareholders. Another consultant was brought on last month, a little more expensive and he's done more in a month than the others have in the past 12m.

    • 1
Oct 24, 2018

Senior analyst, pronciple analyst, maybe manager.

Oct 24, 2018

MS? Let me clarify, at my F100, senior or principle analyst, no chance at manager. Maybe at other companies you have a shot at manager.

Oct 27, 2018

It's super interesting to hear about how different Corp dev is company by company. I'm at F50 company, where the Corp dev team doesn't make any decisions. Their analysis isn't really taken into account (I'm talked to them first hand). The analysis and presentation on potential M&A is done by Bain/McK and the PE firm that's on the board of the company.

Dec 28, 2018

i work in corp strat for a F100 within the TMT space and you'd probably come in as a Manager for our corp dev team. base pay between 125-150k with a 20-30% annual bonus. naturally, we don't get a ton of ex-PE guys into our corp dev team, its mostly ex-IB guys and even then its the post-MBA Associate IB guys. very few ex IB analysts because they can find higher comp elsewhere. the high end of the range I gave (~200k) isn't too bad given that the hours are pretty much 50ish a week

    • 1