Morgan Stanley has hired a huge Merrill Lynch Private Wealth Management team based in New Jersey and Florida
Morgan Stanley has hired a big 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 3 customer associates. They had been generating […]

Morgan Stanley has hired a big 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 3 customer associates. They had been generating $7.5 million in annual fees and commissions, according to a person familiar with their practice, and also joined Morgan Stanley's private wealth team for clients with twenty dolars million or more in their accounts.
The team had managed $735 million in client assets from seventy six households that have an average net worth of $50 million, according to Barron's, which ranked Catena #33 out of eighty four top advisors in Florida in 2020. Mindy Diamond, an industry recruiter that worked with the team on their move, 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 the practice of theirs.

Catena, who spent all though a rookie year of his 30-year career at Merrill, didn't return a request for comment on the team's move, which occurred in December, based on BrokerCheck.

Catena decided to move after the son Steven of his rejoined the team in February 2020 and Lawrence began 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 intention to create a move," Diamond wrote in an email. "But, when his son, Steven, came into the business he soon began viewing the firm of his with a new lens. Would it be good enough for the life of Steven's career?"

The move comes as Merrill is launching an interesting enhanced sunsetting program in November which can add an extra 75 percentage points to brokers' payout once they agree to leave the book of theirs at the firm, but Diamond said the updated Client Transition Program was not "on Larry's radar" after he'd decided to make the move of his.

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

Beiermeister, that works separately from a part in Florham Park, New Jersey, began the career of his at Merrill in 2001, based on BrokerCheck. Fonte started her career at Merrill in 2015.

A spokesperson for Merrill didn't immediately return a request for comment.

Morgan Stanley has hired a big 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 Florida and New Jersey

 

The group is a minimum of the fifth that Morgan Stanley has hired from Merrill in recent months and also seems to be the biggest. It also employed 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 that had won asset-growth accolades from Merrill and in October hired a 26-year Merrill lifer in a Chicago suburb that was producing much 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 very 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 12 weeks earlier and 481 higher than at the end of the third quarter. A lot of the increase came from the inclusion of around 200 E*Trade advisors who work primarily from call centers, a Morgan Stanley executive said.

Merrill Lynch, that has stood by its freeze 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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