Corporate Development Definition: Corporate Development is the division of a large company that focuses on acquisitions and divestitures, including deal sourcing and execution, as well as joint venture (JV) deals and partnerships.
Corporate development teams also spend time doing competitive research and determining which markets their companies should enter.
Much of the work is similar to buy-side M&A deals at an investment bank, but the difference is that you work at one single company and contribute to that company’s growth over the long term rather than advising many clients.
Corporate development (Corp Dev or CD) teams are looking for candidates who:
It’s rare to break into Corporate Development just out of undergrad, although it is sometimes possible, especially at startups and younger companies without well-established CD teams.
Check out our in-depth article on Corporate Development Recruiting for more details of how to ace your interviews and get hired.
An “average day” in corporate development varies a lot and depends on:
A typical “Day in the Life” includes the following, which you can read about in more depth in our full Corporate Development Careers article:
Corp Dev roles vary widely, making exact salary comparisons difficult between job titles difficult.
But here are some compensation ranges based on what you might earn at a large company in a major financial center:
If you work at a smaller company, expect to earn less, and if you’re outside of cities such as New York, London, or Hong Kong, you should also expect to earn less.
Finally, note that like most other finance jobs, corporate development tends to pay the most in the U.S. – compensation is lower across the board in most European countries, for example.
Most corporate development professionals work in investment banking before entering the industry, so the IB skill set is highly relevant here.
Even if you have not worked in investment banking, CD teams expect you to have similar skills when you interview for these roles: accounting, 3-statement modeling, valuation, M&A and LBO models, and the Excel and PowerPoint know-how to facilitate all of these.
And if you get a case study in a CD interview, it will almost certainly be in one of these categories, similar to the case studies that banks give to lateral recruits.
Therefore, we recommend similar courses and packages as we do for investment banking roles: