Building your Corporate Development Team

Whether you are an emerging company, middle market company, or publicly traded company, it is important to understand the role that a Corporate Development department or committee plays.

The corporate development team’s function is to develop corporate growth strategies, identify opportunities, and execute deals for your company. With sights set on growth and enhancing value, the team may advise your company on M&A, strategic alliances, research and development, and joint ventures.

A corporate development department is led by a Corporate Development Officer (“CDO”). The CDO often comes from a background in investment banking or corporate finance. The department may also include support personnel found in multiple areas of expertise such as financial analysis, accounting, sales, marketing, and international business.


The corporate development department typically works with the legal department or outside law firms on tax and IP diligence, as well as deal structuring and negotiations. In addition, the department may work with investment bankers to identify and vet strategic acquisition targets. Ultimately, the CDO will also interact with the board of directors to ensure that proposed deals are reviewed and approved by the board.


Growing companies that do not yet have a full time CDO can still assemble a corporate development team from a combination of executives, key employees, board of directors, and outside consultants. The team should include a combination of strategic thinkers, such as the CEO or director of sales, as well as technical experts with experience in financial planning and analysis, such as the CFO, controller, or chief accounting officer. Ultimately, even smaller emerging and middle market companies should have a team who is responsible for identifying and executing strategic growth plans.

Written By: Sydney Warren, McCullough Sudan, PLLCfree slot no

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