Corporate Development Career Path

Discover your corporate development career path.

CFI Career Map

Corporate development careers

Corporate development (“corp dev”) is responsible for executing mergers, acquisitions, divestitures and capital raising in-house for a corporation.  Professionals in this job role work alongside investment bankers to identify acquisition targets and negotiate their purchase as well prepare to raise equity or debt as required.

Depending on the company there may also be a component of FP&A or investor relations mixed in, or even interaction with the treasury.  Typically only larger companies have a corporate development group, as the work can be very sporadic and it takes a large business to justify having these professionals as permanent jobs.

Personality

The personality of someone who would thrive in a corporate development role at a corporation often has the following character traits:

  • Highly ambitious
  • Outgoing
  • Persuasive
  • Confidence inspiring
  • Attention to detail
  • Good communicator

Interview prep

Preparing for a corporate development job interview requires a strong knowledge of technical finance and accounting concepts, as well as industry specific knowledge.  In terms of technical questions, you will likely be asked those that are very similar to investment banking, so please review our investment banking interview form.

Corporate development entry point

People typically enter corporate development from investment banking.  Entry level jobs are analysts and they can then move up to mangers, directors, and VPs of corporate development.  It can take anywhere from 2-5 years to move up through each positions, and depends on the type of organization you’re at.

Exit strategy

Most people stay in corporate development or could easily switch back to investment banking, as many people do.  Alternatively, if you stay on the corporate side and rise to be the head of corporate development you could be a strong candidate for the CFO or CEO position.

Corporate development compensation

Analyst: $80,000 to $100,000 (base salary plus bonus)
Manager: $100,000 to $200,000 (base salary plus bonus)
Director/VP: $200,000 to $1,000,000+

Corp Dev career prep

Taking financial modelling courses is the quickest way to learn what’s required in corporate development, before you get hired.

We recommend beginning with a solid understanding of accounting fundamentals andreading financial statements.  From there you should have a good Excel crash course under your belt, which will teach you the basics including shortcuts, formulas and functions.  Beyond that, you can progress to more advanced courses, which will teach you valuation and financial modeling.

If you want the best value on a wide range of courses, check out CFI’s Full Access Bundle.