Monday, July 22, 2013

A day in the life of ... A Corporate Development Specialist

A corporate development specialist is a new kind of role in many firms, typically those at the leading edge of technology. Such firms have clear (maybe _clearer_ would be a better way of stating this) needs to stay innovative, grow at a furious pace to keep shareholders happy, etc.

Effectively an employee in this role performs many functions including:

  1. internal consulting on business processes, organizational structures etc
  2. product portfolio rationalization
  3. competitive intelligence, analysis, and competitive landscaping
  4. M&A work including target company identification, due diligence, merger discussions and post-merger integration
  5. supporting individual projects or groups of projects with business analysis etc

As with good Business Analysts that are excellent generalists in service oriented businesses, good corporate development specialists tend to have strong general and particular specialized skill-sets (e.g. they may come from a strong management consulting background) that makes them particularly valuable to the company.

Since these professionals tend to have very widely varying sets of responsibilities as well as projects they may be involved in at any given time, it is rather difficult to indicate what a "typical" day might look like for people in this role. Hence we do not provide any additional details for this particular position.

People in this role tend to have strong general skills in finance, accounting, and consulting, with at least some level of technical ability to be able to grasp technical details quickly. The best people in these kinds of roles also have an innate ability to be able to operate comfortably at both the macro and the micro levels in the organization, and can be counted on to build and grow project teams, lead them, recruit leaders to take their place, effectively transition leadership and move on to other projects where the company needs them more.

People are usually very carefully selected for these roles, and typically a few years of experience is a pre-requisite for anyone to be successful. In some firms these people are called Program Managers, though strictly speaking that is a somewhat different role.