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. Mercedes Fonte, Erik Beiermeister, Steven, his son, and Catena as well as 3 client associates. They had been generating $7.5 million in annual fees and commissions, according to an individual familiar with their practice, and also joined Morgan Stanley’s private wealth group for clients with twenty dolars million or perhaps more in their accounts.
The group had managed $735 million in client assets from 76 households that have an average net worth of fifty dolars million, based on Barron’s, which ranked Catena #33 out of eighty four top advisors in Florida in 2020. Mindy Diamond, an industry recruiter which worked with the group 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 their practice.
Catena, who spent all though 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 took place in December, according to BrokerCheck.
Catena decided 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 intention to come up with a move,” Diamond wrote in an email. “But, when the son of his, Steven, came into the business he began viewing the firm of his 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 completely new enhanced sunsetting program in November that can add an extra seventy five percentage points to brokers’ payout whenever 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, based on FintechZoom.
Beiermeister, that works separately from a branch in Florham Park, New Jersey, began the career of his at Merrill in 2001, according to BrokerCheck. Fonte started the career of her at Merrill in 2015.
A spokesperson for Merrill didn’t immediately return a request for comment.
The group is at least the fifth that Morgan Stanley has hired from Merrill in recent months as well as seems to be the largest. 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 that 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 $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 recently it closed its net recruiting gap to near zero as the number 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 conclusion of the third quarter. A lot of the increase came out of the addition of over 200 E*Trade advisors who work largely 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.