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Toward transaction excellence: Strong internal relationships - EY - Global

Toward transaction excellence:

Strong internal relationships

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Please indicate for each of the functional areas below the strength of the working relationship between the CDO/corporate development department and the given function


Please indicate for each of the functional areas below the strength of the working relationship between the CDO/corporate development department and the given function

Key questions to ask:

  1. Does the corporate development department have sufficient standing with business units and functions to obtain assistance and attention when needed?

  2. What mechanisms are in place to facilitate closer relationships between the corporate development department and the senior management team? How about between the corporate development department and subsidiary or business unit management?

  3. Does the company use programs such as rotational assignments to instill greater awareness of the role of corporate development?

  4. What else could be done to improve collaboration between the corporate development department and the business at large?



No matter where the members of a transaction team are sourced, it is the CDO’s responsibility to bring all of the components together.

Summary: Another core finding of our study is that the strength and quality of internal relationships can make all the difference. A distinction must be made between the CDF and the corporate development department. The former includes all of those managers and staff members who become closely involved in the transaction lifecycle — which in practice is a very large group.

The latter are the dedicated members of the corporate development department. A typical CDO leads only a handful of direct reports, a range of mid-to senior-level executives for whom the business of corporate development is a full-time endeavor.

When a transaction enters its early phases, this core unit must begin to draw on others. Some of the first to join will likely be senior divisional, business unit or regional managers. Effective CDOs do not force transactions on such leaders.

Rather, they work closely with these managers to gain insight into business objectives and challenges and therefore the sorts of deals that will likely gain traction. Such managers are typically brought in on a deal early on — and obtaining their buy-in is essential.

As a deal gains momentum, more professionals will be selected to become deal "insiders" because of their experience or functional or geographic knowledge. A key challenge for any CDO is knowing who to bring into which transaction when.

Once a deal is well under way, the vast majority of the team will consist of members who do not report to the CDO and for whom transactions are not a daily pursuit. This means that managing the CDF requires not only leading-class transactions knowledge but also remarkable leadership capabilities.

Please indicate for each of the
functional areas below the strength
of the working relationship between
the CDO/corporate development
department and the given function

Please indicate for each of the functional areas below the strength of the working relationship between the CDO/corporate development department and the given function

No matter where the members of a transaction team are sourced, it is the CDO’s responsibility to bring all of the components together and orchestrate a smooth and professionally managed transaction.

The CDO and the immediate members of the team provide transaction experience, knowledge and consistency. It is in this core unit where deal capabilities reside and must be improved continually.

Our study shows that in nearly every instance, stronger relationships between the corporate development department and the rest of the organization lead to significantly greater deal satisfaction.

For example, corporate development departments with strong ties to the finance, accounting and treasury functions score much higher than those with weak links across the full range of deal satisfaction metrics.



Key insights:

The strength and quality of internal relationships can make all the difference.

  • CDOs must draw upon and lead a range of resources — often outside of their direct control
  • Internal relationships to those with skill sets outside the corporate development department are critical
  • Successful CDOs tend to display 10 key traits


 Key questions to ask:



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