Morgan Stanley has hired a huge Merrill Lynch Private Wealth Management team based in Florida and New Jersey

Morgan Stanley has hired a huge Merrill Lynch Private Wealth Management team based in Florida and New Jersey as it contributes to the list of multi-million-dollar hires from the rival wirehouse.

The group includes Lawrence W. Catena, his son, Steven, Erik Beiermeister, and Mercedes Fonte as well as three clientele associates. They had been generating $7.5 million in annual fees and commissions, based on an individual familiar with the practice of theirs, and also joined Morgan Stanley’s private wealth team for clients with twenty dolars million or perhaps more in their accounts.
The group had managed $735 million in client assets from 76 households who have an average net worth of $50 million, according to Barron’s, which ranked Catena #33 out of 84 best advisors in Florida in 2020. Mindy Diamond, an industry recruiter that worked with the group on the move of theirs, said that the total assets of theirs were $1.2 billion when factoring in new clients and market appreciation in the two years since Barron’s assessed the practice of theirs.

Catena, who spent all however, a rookie year of his 30-year career at Merrill, did not return a request for comment on the team’s move, which happened in December, according to BrokerCheck.

Catena decided to move after his son Steven rejoined the team in February 2020 and Lawrence began considering a succession plan for his practice, as reported by Diamond.

“Larry always thought of himself as a lifer with Merrill with no goal to create a move,” Diamond wrote in an email. “But, when the son of his, Steven, came into the business he began to view the firm of his through a new lens. Would it be good enough for the life of Steven’s career?”

The move comes as Merrill is launching a brand-new enhanced sunsetting program in November which can add an additional seventy five percentage points to brokers’ payout whenever they agree to leave their book at the firm, but Diamond said the updated Client Transition Program wasn’t “on Larry’s radar” after he had decided to make his move.

Steven Catena started his career at Merrill in 2016 but sojourned at Prudential Investment Management from 2017 until 2020 before rejoining, based on FintechZoom.

Beiermeister, who works individually from a branch in Florham Park, New Jersey, began his career at Merrill in 2001, as reported by BrokerCheck. Fonte started her career at Merrill in 2015.

A spokesperson for Merrill did not immediately return a request for comment.

Morgan Stanley has hired a significant Merrill Lynch Private Wealth Management team based in Florida and New Jersey
Morgan Stanley has hired a significant Merrill Lynch Private Wealth Management team based in New Jersey and Florida

 

The group is a minimum of the fifth that Morgan Stanley has hired from Merrill in recent months and also appears to be the biggest. Additionally, it selected a duo with $500 million in assets in Red Bank, New Jersey last month and a pair of advisors producing about $2.6 million from Merrill in Maryland.

In December, Morgan Stanley lured a solo producer in California who had won asset growth accolades from Merrill and in October hired a 26-year Merrill lifer in a Chicago suburb who was generating more than $2 million.

Morgan Stanley aggressively re-entered the recruiting market last year after a three-year hiatus, and executives have said that for the first time in recent times it closed its net recruiting gap to near zero as the amount of new hires offset those who left.

It ended 2020 with 15,950 advisors – 482 more than twelve months earlier and 481 higher than at the conclusion of the third quarter. Much of the increase came from the inclusion of over 200 E*Trade advisors who work primarily from call centers, a Morgan Stanley executive said.

Merrill Lynch, which has stood by the freeze of its on veteran broker recruiting put in place in 2017, no longer breaks out its number of branch-based wealth management brokers from its consumer-bank-based Edge brokerage force.

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