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

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 3 client associates. They’d been generating $7.5 million in annual fees and commissions, based on a person familiar with their practice, as well as joined Morgan Stanley’s private wealth team for clients with $20 million or more in the accounts of theirs.
The team 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 eighty four best advisors in Florida in 2020. Mindy Diamond, an industry recruiter which 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 the practice of theirs.

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

Catena made the decision to move after the son Steven of his rejoined the team in February 2020 and Lawrence started considering a succession plan for the practice of his, according to Diamond.

“Larry always thought of himself as a lifer with Merrill-with no goal to make 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 actually launching a completely new enhanced sunsetting program in November which can add an extra seventy five percentage points to brokers’ payout once they consent 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 the career of his 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 department in Florham Park, New Jersey, began the career of his 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 New Jersey and Florida
Morgan Stanley has hired a big Merrill Lynch Private Wealth Management team based in Florida and New Jersey

 

The group is at least the fifth that Morgan Stanley has hired from Merrill in recent months and appears to be the biggest. It also employed a duo with $500 million in assets in Red Bank, New Jersey last month as well as a pair of advisors producing aproximatelly $2.6 million from Merrill in Maryland.

In December, Morgan Stanley lured a solo producer in California which had won asset-growth accolades from Merrill and in October hired a 26-year Merrill lifer in a Chicago suburb that was producing 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 years 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 12 months earlier and 481 higher than at the end of the third quarter. A lot of the increase came out of the inclusion of around 200 E*Trade advisors who 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 its number of branch-based wealth management brokers from its consumer-bank-based Edge brokerage force.

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