Morgan Stanley has hired a big 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 New Jersey and Florida 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 customer associates. They had been generating […]

Morgan Stanley has hired a huge Merrill Lynch Private Wealth Management team based in New Jersey and Florida 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 customer associates. They had been generating $7.5 million in annual fees and commissions, according to an individual familiar with the practice of theirs, and joined Morgan Stanley's private wealth team for clients with twenty dolars million or even more in the accounts of theirs.
The team had managed $735 million in client assets from 76 households who have an average net worth of $50 million, as reported by Barron's, which ranked Catena #33 out of 84 top rated advisors in Florida in 2020. Mindy Diamond, an industry recruiter that worked with the team on the move of theirs, said that their total assets were $1.2 billion when factoring in new clients and market appreciation in the 2 years since Barron's assessed their practice.

Catena, who spent all though a rookie year of the 30-year career of his at Merrill, did not return a request for comment on the team's move, which happened in December, as reported by BrokerCheck.

Catena made the decision to move after his son Steven rejoined the team in February 2020 and Lawrence started considering a succession plan for the practice of his, 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 his son, Steven, came into the business he soon started to view his firm through a whole new lens. Would it be good enough for the life of Steven's career?"

The move comes as Merrill is actually launching a different enhanced sunsetting program in November which can add an extra 75 percentage points to brokers' payout when they consent to leave the book of theirs 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 the career of his at Merrill in 2016 but sojourned at Prudential Investment Management from 2017 until 2020 before rejoining, based on FintechZoom.

Beiermeister, that works separately from a branch in Florham Park, New Jersey, began his career at Merrill in 2001, according to BrokerCheck. Fonte started the career of her 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 New Jersey and Florida
Morgan Stanley has hired a significant Merrill Lynch Private Wealth Management team based in New Jersey and Florida

 

The group is actually a minimum of the fifth that Morgan Stanley has hired from Merrill in recent months as well as appears to be the biggest. Additionally, it selected a duo with $500 million in assets in Red Bank, New Jersey last month in addition to a pair of advisors producing aproximatelly $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 which was generating more than two dolars 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 that left.

It ended 2020 with 15,950 advisors - 482 more than twelve months earlier and 481 higher than at the end of the third quarter. Much of the increase came from the addition of around 200 E*Trade advisors that work largely from call centers, a Morgan Stanley executive said.

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

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