Morgan Stanley has hired a significant 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. Mercedes Fonte, Erik Beiermeister, Steven, his son, and Catena in addition to three clientele associates. They’d been generating $7.5 million in annual fees and commissions, based on a person familiar with the practice of theirs, and also joined Morgan Stanley’s private wealth team for clients with twenty dolars million or even more in their accounts.
The group had managed $735 million in client assets from 76 households that have an average net worth of $50 million, according to Barron’s, which ranked Catena #33 out of eighty four best advisors in Florida in 2020. Mindy Diamond, an industry recruiter that worked with the team on their move, 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 the practice of theirs.

Catena, who spent all but a rookie year of his 30 year career at Merrill, did not return a request for comment on the team’s move, which took place 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 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 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 launching a brand-new enhanced sunsetting program in November which can add an extra 75 percentage points to brokers’ payout whenever they consent 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 had 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, which works individually from a branch in Florham Park, New Jersey, began his career at Merrill in 2001, based on 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 huge 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

 

The group is actually at least the fifth that Morgan Stanley has hired from Merrill in recent months as well as seems to be the largest. Additionally, it employed a duo with $500 million in assets in Red Bank, New Jersey last month as well as a pair of advisors producing about $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 who was producing much 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 in recent times it closed its net recruiting gap to near zero as the amount of new hires offset those who actually left.

It ended 2020 with 15,950 advisors – 482 more than twelve weeks earlier and 481 higher than at the conclusion of the third quarter. Much of the increase came from the inclusion of more than 200 E*Trade advisors that 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 the number of its of branch-based wealth management brokers from its consumer-bank-based Edge brokerage force.