Corporate Development

1. How would you describe the current recruitment market? How has this impacted on compensation?

Corporate Development remains a popular choice for bankers and corporate finance professionals seeking to exit the ’sell side’ deal environments which often mean long hours and a lack of work life balance. These corporate roles allow the opportunity to remain involved in deals and the market and ensure they are using their experience – but often in an environment where they can see a more sustainable long term career path that allows them to also diversify their skills. Particularly at more senior levels these moves generally involve a considerable drop in compensation – mainly on the bonus front. We are, however, seeing larger corporates try to offer competitive base salaries to ensure that they can attract quality professionals whom they see as future leaders of their businesses. Demand for these roles still heavily outstrips supply, and so processes tend to be competitive and allow hiring managers to be selective and prescriptive in their requirements.

2. Any client or candidate trends observed over the last 12 months?

Consistent levels of enquiry from candidates wishing to make the move to corporate development, particularly amongst the more senior candidate pools as their roles become more origination focussed and promotional prospects within the bank looking slim. Continued efforts by corporates, particularly the larger listed corporates, to ensure a gender diversity drive through their hiring processes. This is often translating into corporates providing flexible working arrangements and work from home schemes to ensure that this can be achieved.

3. Predictions:

We expect to see a continued interest from candidates, particularly at VP level and above looking for a move across to corporate roles. Often difficult for us to accurately predict corporate’s hiring plans but we have had requests from a couple of larger, listed corporates who are looking to make some key strategic hires over the first half of 2018. These will be to strengthen their senior ranks with investment banking, professional services and consulting experience and so expect they will be able to engage with top talent who are ready for these moves.

4. Any interesting case studies?

We have seen an increased number of junior investment banking and consulting profile candidates leave their large global firms to work for ‘disruptor’ businesses or technology driven companies such as Uber and Deliveroo, or to get involved in the start up / Fintech community. While traditional ‘in house’ roles with ASX listed corporate organisations remain a popular route of choice, there has been a definite increase in the level of interest to work for more entrepreneurial style and consumer driven businesses. Often these businesses can’t compete with large listed corporates on compensation, but their brand and products are more likely to attract the Analyst/Associate candidate pools who are happy to trade the high salaries to work for businesses who they deem as employers of choice. In addition, we saw the likes of Wesfarmers beef up their corporate development ranks at the senior level with a couple of significant hires out of Private Equity.

Contact
Jon Michel
02 9235 9410

Ali Roger
02 9235 9450

Daniel Yee
02 9235 9420

Government

1. How would you describe the current recruitment market? How has this impacted on compensation?

Speaking from the perspective of NSW and within divisions looking for corporate finance to advise the government on existing assets (sell, retain or restructure) or new build infrastructure – the market has come off a bit since the highs of 2015 through to mid-2017. This is not surprising as teams have been largely built, though we are still seeing some mid / junior hires being made to complete the hiring process. The NSW Treasury team build (across new build infrastructure and privatisation advisory) in 2013 was seen as a success story, which translated to other areas of government looking for similar capabilities. In 2016 we saw both NSW Treasury then NSW Transport continue to build out their executive teams, staffing them mostly from the private sector. Compensation has remained steady with base salary numbers being on par or maybe slightly below private sector rates. The issue is more around lack of bonus/STI let alone LTI component being available, meaning that total compensation does not usually match what the private sector may offer.

2. Any client or candidate trends observed over the last 12 months?

The awareness of a career move to government has been increasing over the last couple of years. This has corresponded to higher levels of interest in moving to the public sector. We see several reasons for this: the quality of senior executives being hired has improved and therefore their ability to attract comparable quality at more junior levels has also improved (a positive cascading effect); the chance to work on real assets/businesses as a state owner/manager (as opposed to third party adviser); the chance to make a difference to the improvement of the State; added value to the CV for potential moves back in to the private sector or the potential for an improved work life balance for some (albeit the hours required as often more than initially expected).

3. Predictions:

There is still some team buildout to do but we expect this to be at the mid to junior level. Apart from one-off senior hires replacing those that will inevitably be moving on.

We expect given the poor balance sheets of some of the other states, the asset recycling program will be further embraced and the NSW model will roll out further to QLD, NT, WA and VIC. This may apply particularly to WA and NT where transitioning resource sector workers across to other sectors is high on the agenda.

4. Any interesting case studies?

The Northern Territory has already embarked on a privatisation and asset recycling campaign.

The other ‘once in a decade’ team build has mostly now been completed at Transport for NSW. The team build has involved turning a 3-4 deal/transaction team into a 16-20 person deal/transaction team within the space of a year to deal with the unprecedented pipeline of infrastructure deals both currently being completed and yet to start.

Contact
Jon Michel
02 9235 9410

Mischa Bennett
02 9235 9430