Corporate development and M&A

Anyone who works in, or is familiar with the inner workings of a corporate development or M&A team… Question for you…

Looking for some insight into how the two departments differ.

Let’s assume we are using a large multinational company as an example. This company has an M&A team (2-4 people), and a corporate development team (2-4 people). In general, how would you describe each departments activities from due diligence to client interactions and execution.

I know it will vary depending on the company, but here are a few thoughts… Am I wrong?

M&A -> Valuation, modeling, due diligence

Corp. Dev -> Some val modeling, but mostly client facing, and they will work on execution

I honestly can not imagine such a situation.

But if you are describing a real world situation, it only proves what I said before on this forum - there is no typical CD formation, every corporation is different and its culture and structure and other stuff you might not even think about being relevant will determine who does what. If you really want to know, ask that very company you are talking about.

Corp dev and m&a are usually synonymous. If they’re different departments, I’d guess that they’d be more silo’d on specific types of transactions. So corp dev would focus more on partnerships and JVs, while m&a is focused on transactions that have binary ownership (i.e. you own 100% of a business or you own 0%). That’s just an unfounded guess, though.

I’m not sure what you mean by client facing. In corporate, you don’t really have clients, unless you consider other parts of the business as your clients.

"Client’ was definitely the wrong word to use. By ‘client facing’, I was implying that the Corp Dev team is closer to managing the actual deal (i.e. a potential acquisition). Where as the M&A team works on the valuation and is more involved with modeling. Sounds like this is out of the norm, and that every company’s org structure is setup a bit differently.

So my question is… When you see a “Corp Dev Analyst” position, versus a “M&A Analyst” position, should I assume the positions are one in the same?

I would assume they’re the same position, and they’re just posting two different titles to see which one gets more applicants. Maybe there are two positions, maybe not.

A corp dev analyst will likely work on growing the firm organically whereas M&A will be inorganic growth. A lot of overlap though and I can imagine a firm with these two groups could be used cross-functionally.