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 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 as well as 3 customer associates. They had been generating $7.5 million in annual fees and commissions, in accordance with a person familiar with their practice, and joined Morgan Stanley’s private wealth group for clients with $20 million or perhaps more in the accounts of theirs.
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 eighty four top advisors in Florida in 2020. Mindy Diamond, an industry recruiter that 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 though a rookie year of his 30-year career at Merrill, did not return a request for comment on the team’s move, which occurred 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 began considering a succession plan for his practice, based on Diamond.

“Larry always thought of himself as a lifer with Merrill with no objective to come up with a move,” Diamond wrote in an email. “But, when the son of his, Steven, came into the business he soon began viewing the firm of his through 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 that can add an additional 75 percentage points to brokers’ payout when they consent to leave the book of theirs at the firm, but Diamond said the updated Client Transition Program wasn’t “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, as reported by FintechZoom.

Beiermeister, who works separately from a department in Florham Park, New Jersey, started his career at Merrill in 2001, as reported by BrokerCheck. Fonte started the career of her 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 huge Merrill Lynch Private Wealth Management team based in New Jersey and Florida

 

The group is actually a minimum of the fifth that Morgan Stanley has hired from Merrill in recent months as well as appears to be the largest. It also selected 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 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 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 twelve months earlier and 481 higher than at the end of the third quarter. A lot of the increase came from the addition of around 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.