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

Morgan Stanley has hired a significant Merrill Lynch Private Wealth Management team based in Florida and New Jersey as it adds 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 and also 3 client associates. They had 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 $20 million or perhaps more in their accounts.
The group had managed $735 million in client assets from seventy six households which have an average net worth of $50 million, based on Barron’s, which ranked Catena #33 out of 84 top rated advisors in Florida in 2020. Mindy Diamond, an industry recruiter which worked with the team 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 the practice of theirs.

Catena, who spent all but 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, based on 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 the practice of his, as reported by Diamond.

“Larry always thought of himself as a lifer with Merrill-with no goal to come up with a move,” Diamond wrote in an email. “But, when his son, Steven, came into the business he soon started viewing his firm with a brand new lens. Would it be good enough for the life of Steven’s career?”

The move comes as Merrill is actually launching a different enhanced sunsetting program in November that can add an additional seventy five 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 the career of his at Merrill in 2016 but sojourned at Prudential Investment Management from 2017 until 2020 before rejoining, as reported by FintechZoom.

Beiermeister, which works separately from a department in Florham Park, New Jersey, began the career of his at Merrill in 2001, according to 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 Florida and New Jersey
Morgan Stanley has hired a big Merrill Lynch Private Wealth Management team based in New Jersey and Florida

 

The group is a minimum of the fifth that Morgan Stanley has hired from Merrill in recent months and also appears to be the largest. Additionally, it selected 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 that had won asset growth accolades from Merrill and in October hired a 26-year Merrill lifer in a Chicago suburb that 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 in recent times it closed its net recruiting gap to near zero as the number of new hires offset those who actually 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 more than 200 E*Trade advisors that work primarily from call centers, a Morgan Stanley executive said.

Merrill Lynch, that 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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