Don't miss out
Sign up for our free newsletter to get weekly insights from the industry's leading practitioners!
January 17, 2022

More and more companies are starting to look at inorganic growth to ramp up their companies immediately. M&A is a tool to achieve your strategy and it starts with hiring your head of corporate development. With the help of Charles Breed, VP of Corporate Development at Corel Corporation, let's all learn how to hire your corporate development that fits into your M&A strategy.

"Corp Dev must not only understand the strategy, but they have to believe in it. If they're not on board, then there's going to be problems in the targets that they're looking at." - Charles Breed  

Hiring your Corp Dev

According to Charles, there are three types of people in the M&A industry: industry experts, deal experts, and integration experts. When you are standing up your M&A function and hiring your head of corporate development, your acquisition strategy needs to dictate your hiring.

Most corporate development people come from the banking industry or private equity. They are very exposed to the components of acquisitions, and they are informed about the process. If you are looking to do multiple transactions in a year, you should hire someone like them. 

But if you are looking at a few transformative deals where you cannot afford to make mistakes, you need to hire an industry expert. Mistakes are often made at the front end, and you need someone who can identify the right company, technology, and people to go after.

The Head of Corporate Development’s Role

The primary role of corporate development is to assimilate the company's strategy. The strategy will dictate the targets they will be looking at and the size of the M&A team that they will be building. 

Corporate development should also have a good grasp of what is happening in the market. You are expected to know everything that is going on within your industry, and there are existing online services that can help you.

Lastly, this role entails reporting with the executive leaders and board members. They need to have good communication skills to explain deals and market pricing to higher management while working with the functions across the entire organization. 

Skills Required for Corp Dev

Corporate development can be a daunting task, especially when deals are in motion. There will be extended hours and a heavy workload, and you need to have someone who has a high tolerance for that. 

Aside from the good communication skills mentioned above, here are a few required skills for a corporate development role:

  1. Self-awareness - a person needs to be honest about their strengths and weaknesses in order to hire the right people to fill the skills gaps
  2. Humility - someone who doesn't pretend to know things that they don't, with the humility to ask for help where needed
  3. Good leadership - someone who knows how to delegate tasks and rally a team to finish deals through
  4. Objective - corporate development cannot champion a deal, they need to remove bias and be objective when assessing deals
  5. Solid understanding of legal documents - being able to navigate through the legalities and restrictions of legal documents is crucial, they need to know the responsibilities of an NDA, what are binding and non-binding documents, and how to work around those documents.
Related eBook

Just a second
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.