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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 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. Catena, his son, Steven, Erik Beiermeister, and Mercedes Fonte and also three clientele associates. They’d been generating $7.5 million in annual fees and commissions, based on an individual familiar with their practice, and also joined Morgan Stanley’s private wealth team for clients with twenty dolars million or perhaps more in their accounts.
The staff had managed $735 million in client assets from seventy six households who have an average net worth of $50 million, according to Barron’s, which ranked Catena #33 out of 84 top advisors in Florida in 2020. Mindy Diamond, an industry recruiter which worked with the group 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 their practice.

Catena, who spent all however, a rookie year of his 30 year career at Merrill, didn’t return a request for comment on the team’s move, which happened in December, as reported by 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, as reported by Diamond.

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

The move comes as Merrill is launching an innovative enhanced sunsetting program in November that 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’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 individually from a branch in Florham Park, New Jersey, started his career at Merrill in 2001, as reported by BrokerCheck. Fonte started her career at Merrill in 2015.

A spokesperson for Merrill didn’t immediately return a request for comment.

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

 

The group is actually at least the fifth that Morgan Stanley has hired from Merrill in recent months and appears to be the largest. In addition, it selected a duo with $500 million in assets in Red Bank, New Jersey last month in addition to 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 which was generating 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 years it closed its net recruiting gap to near zero as the number 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 conclusion of the third quarter. Most of the increase came from the inclusion of over 200 E*Trade advisors who 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.

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