What would be the English term for a department in a company often placed directly under and supporting the managing director? The military equivalent would probably be general staff but what's this in the civilian world? Auxiliary staff? But it's supposed to be mainly university level jobs such as risk manager and the sorts..

BR Olav
Hi and welcome to English Forums.

It seems every place I've worked had a different term for that. In one place, it was simply referred to as "Paul's staff" so when they said "a staff meeting" it meant only those people. (That caused a bit of confusion for me, since I had never used that phrase that way before.)

Normally, I would expect a company big enough to have such a department to also have a formal name for it. [:^)]

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Thanks! That's kind of what I suspected... but in this case I can't use a Paul's staff type of thing but something a bit more formal.. Any ideas on those?
The managing director's support staff.
The managing director's direct reports.

That's about all I can offer you as a generic phrase.
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 Clive's reply was promoted to an answer.