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. Mercedes Fonte, Erik Beiermeister, Steven, his son, and Catena as well as 3 clientele associates. They had been generating $7.5 million in annual fees and commissions, according to an individual familiar with their practice, as well as joined Morgan Stanley’s private wealth group for clients with twenty dolars million or even 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, according to 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 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 though a rookie year of his 30-year career at Merrill, didn’t return a request for comment on the team’s move, which occurred in December, according to 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 his practice, as reported by Diamond.
“Larry always thought of himself as a lifer with Merrill-with no goal to create a move,” Diamond wrote in an email. “But, when the son of his, Steven, came into the business he started to view 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 brand-new 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’d decided to make his move.
Steven Catena started his career at Merrill in 2016 but sojourned at Prudential Investment Management from 2017 until 2020 before rejoining, based on FintechZoom.
Beiermeister, that works separately 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 a minimum of the fifth that Morgan Stanley has hired from Merrill in recent months and also seems to be the largest. 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 that 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 $2 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 amount of new hires offset those who actually left.
It ended 2020 with 15,950 advisors – 482 more than 12 weeks earlier and 481 higher than at the conclusion of the third quarter. A lot of the increase came from the addition of over 200 E*Trade advisors that 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.