Business Development Associate Question:

Right, sounds like a good move - you were actually employed throughout an entire recession, which didn't happen to too many other bankers.

You mentioned "corporate development" just now - terms like "business development," "corporate strategy," "corporate development," and "corporate finance" are lumped in the same category, but how are they different? What do you focus on?

Answer:

It depends on the company, but here's how I think about the differences:

► Corporate Development: You focus on M&A and acquiring other companies as well as setting up joint venture deals.

► Business Development: It's less about M&A and acquiring companies / stakes of companies and more about setting up partnerships.

► Corporate Strategy: This is like management consulting, only internal to the company. You focus on planning their big-picture strategy, solving specific operational problems, and competitive analysis.

► Corporate Finance: This is more like FP&A (Financial Planning & Analysis) - you maintain the company's finances, plan their budget, and make sure all the right controls are in place.

► Of those, corporate development is most similar to banking/PE, and corporate strategy is most similar to consulting; corporate finance is closer to accounting or auditing work and you don't need to understand deals to do it.

My job is a combination of corporate development, business development, and corporate strategy - since it's a startup you have to do a bit of everything.


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