To wrap up my research on how and where VP’s of Corporate Development are fitting into organizations, I have to draw from my most vague of notes: what sort of companies are hiring VPCD’s? I didn’t spot any particular trend with regards to industry or company size. There were tech companies (as in IT), but perhaps I noticed these because that’s the industry I’m in. There were healthcare companies, telecoms, and there were non-profits. I didn’t see any particularly young companies, but on the other hand I didn’t see any particularly mature companies–therein was my first observation: that companies in “business adoloescence” are the ones most likely to be hiring VPCD’s.
Expanding on this thread, I decided not just to look for openings, but also reviewed recent news on hirings and promotions to VPCDs. I found a few instances of activity with venture capital firms (as in VC firms hiring VPCDs), both for internal analysis and M&A services as well as on behalf of their clients. In almost all cases the companies were hiring or promoting in relation to M&A activity. Reinforcing this observation I spotted a few business strategy and consulting firms, those particularly involved in M&A consulting, with news on VPCD activity.
Coming from someone with a statistics background, I have to put forth the caveat that my population size was far from comfortable enough to say these are definitive trends. Rather they’re probably more of a snapshot of fairly recent activity, but nonetheless it seems that the kinds of companies that are most likely to be hiring (or promoting) a VPCD are medium-sized, medium-maturity organizations that are either funded or are in the business of funding others with a particular interest in driving inorganic growth through M&A activity.
I’ll revisit these observations from time to time as I myself work as a Vice President of Corporate Development and as I meet and network with others in the field.