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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 New Jersey and Florida 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 in addition to three customer associates. They’d been generating $7.5 million in annual fees and commissions, in accordance with a person familiar with the practice of theirs, and also joined Morgan Stanley’s private wealth group for clients with twenty dolars million or more in the accounts of theirs.
The group had managed $735 million in client assets from 76 households who 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 that worked with the group on their move, said that the total assets of theirs 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 although 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 decided to move after his son Steven rejoined the team in February 2020 and Lawrence started considering a succession plan for the practice of his, based on Diamond.

“Larry always thought of himself as a lifer with Merrill with no intention to create a move,” Diamond wrote in an email. “But, when the son of his, Steven, came into the business he soon began to view 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 actually launching an interesting enhanced sunsetting program in November which can add an extra 75 percentage points to brokers’ payout when they agree to leave their book 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, based on FintechZoom.

Beiermeister, who works individually from a department in Florham Park, New Jersey, began his career 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 actually a minimum of the fifth that Morgan Stanley has hired from Merrill in recent months and appears to be the biggest. Additionally, it hired 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 who had won asset-growth accolades from Merrill and in October hired a 26 year Merrill lifer in a Chicago suburb who was generating much 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 recently it closed its net recruiting gap to near zero as the amount of new hires offset those who left.

It ended 2020 with 15,950 advisors – 482 more than twelve weeks earlier and 481 higher than at the end of the third quarter. Much of the increase came from the inclusion of more than 200 E*Trade advisors who work largely from call centers, a Morgan Stanley executive said.

Merrill Lynch, which 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.

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