Morgan Stanley has hired a huge Merrill Lynch Private Wealth Management team based in New Jersey and Florida as it adds to the list of multi-million-dollar hires from the rival wirehouse.
The group includes Lawrence W. Mercedes Fonte, Erik Beiermeister, Steven, his son, and Catena in addition to three customer associates. They’d been generating $7.5 million in annual fees and commissions, in accordance with a person familiar with their practice, as well as joined Morgan Stanley’s private wealth group for clients with twenty dolars million or even more in their accounts.
The group had managed $735 million in client assets from seventy six households who have an average net worth of fifty dolars 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 team 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 2 years since Barron’s assessed their practice.
Catena, who spent all although a rookie year of the 30-year career of his at Merrill, didn’t 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 his practice, based on 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 started to view the firm of his with 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 new enhanced sunsetting program in November which can add an extra 75 percentage points to brokers’ payout once they agree to leave their book 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, as reported by FintechZoom.
Beiermeister, that works individually from a department in Florham Park, New Jersey, started the career of his at Merrill in 2001, as reported by BrokerCheck. Fonte started the career of her at Merrill in 2015.
A spokesperson for Merrill did not immediately return a request for comment.
The group is actually a minimum of the fifth that Morgan Stanley has hired from Merrill in recent months and seems to be the largest. In addition, it employed a duo with $500 million in assets in Red Bank, New Jersey last month and a pair of advisors producing aproximatelly $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 who was producing 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 very first time recently 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 12 weeks earlier and 481 higher than at the conclusion of the third quarter. A lot of the increase came out of the inclusion of over 200 E*Trade advisors that work largely 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 the number of its of branch based wealth management brokers from its consumer-bank-based Edge brokerage force.