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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 huge Merrill Lynch Private Wealth Management team based in Florida and New Jersey as it contributes 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 3 client associates. They’d been generating $7.5 million in annual fees and commissions, according to a person familiar with their practice, as well as joined Morgan Stanley’s private wealth team for clients with twenty dolars million or more in the accounts of theirs.
The staff 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 which worked with the group 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 however, a rookie year of the 30-year career of his at Merrill, didn’t return a request for comment on the team’s move, which happened in December, based on BrokerCheck.

Catena decided to move after his son Steven 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 objective to make a move,” Diamond wrote in an email. “But, when the son of his, Steven, came into the business he soon began viewing his firm with a whole new lens. Would it be good enough for the life of Steven’s career?”

The move comes as Merrill is launching a unique enhanced sunsetting program in November which can add an additional seventy five percentage points to brokers’ payout when they consent to leave their book at the firm, but Diamond said the updated Client Transition Program was not “on Larry’s radar” after he had 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, according to FintechZoom.

Beiermeister, who works individually from a part in Florham Park, New Jersey, began his career at Merrill in 2001, as reported by BrokerCheck. Fonte started the career of her at Merrill in 2015.

A spokesperson for Merrill didn’t 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 huge Merrill Lynch Private Wealth Management team based in Florida and New Jersey

 

The group is at least the fifth that Morgan Stanley has hired from Merrill in recent months as well as seems to be the biggest. In addition, it employed a duo with $500 million in assets in Red Bank, New Jersey last month and 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 generating 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 very first time recently 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 twelve months 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 who work primarily from call centers, a Morgan Stanley executive said.

Merrill Lynch, which 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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