Morgan Stanley has hired a significant Merrill Lynch Private Wealth Management team based in Florida and New Jersey as it will add 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 and also 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 joined Morgan Stanley’s private wealth group for clients with $20 million or perhaps more in the accounts of theirs.
The team had managed $735 million in client assets from seventy six households that have an average net worth of $50 million, based on Barron’s, which ranked Catena #33 out of eighty four top rated advisors in Florida in 2020. Mindy Diamond, an industry recruiter who 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 two 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 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 the practice of his, as reported by Diamond.
“Larry always thought of himself as a lifer with Merrill-with no purpose 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 brand 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 that can add an additional 75 percentage points to brokers’ payout whenever 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 his move.
Steven Catena started the career of his at Merrill in 2016 but sojourned at Prudential Investment Management from 2017 until 2020 before rejoining, according to FintechZoom.
Beiermeister, who works separately from a part in Florham Park, New Jersey, began the career of his at Merrill in 2001, based on 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 at least the fifth that Morgan Stanley has hired from Merrill in recent months and appears to be the largest. Additionally, it hired 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 who was generating 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 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 from the addition of over 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.