Morgan Stanley has hired a significant 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 as well as three client 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 team for clients with $20 million or perhaps more in the accounts of theirs.
The group had managed $735 million in client assets from 76 households that have an average net worth of fifty dolars million, based on Barron’s, which ranked Catena #33 out of 84 best advisors in Florida in 2020. Mindy Diamond, an industry recruiter that worked with the team on the move of theirs, 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 although a rookie year of his 30 year career at Merrill, did not return a request for comment on the team’s move, which happened in December, according to BrokerCheck.
Catena made the decision to move after his son Steven rejoined the team in February 2020 and Lawrence began considering a succession plan for the practice of his, based on Diamond.
“Larry always thought of himself as a lifer with Merrill with no goal to make a move,” Diamond wrote in an email. “But, when his son, Steven, came into the business he soon started to view his firm through 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 new enhanced sunsetting program in November which can add an additional seventy five percentage points to brokers’ payout once they consent to leave their book at the firm, but Diamond said the updated Client Transition Program wasn’t “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, based on FintechZoom.
Beiermeister, that works individually from a department in Florham Park, New Jersey, began the career of his 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.
The group is at least the fifth that Morgan Stanley has hired from Merrill in recent months and seems to be the biggest. Additionally, it employed a duo with $500 million in assets in Red Bank, New Jersey last month in addition to 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 that was generating 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 in recent times 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 conclusion of the third quarter. Much of the increase came out of the inclusion of over 200 E*Trade advisors that work largely 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.