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. Mercedes Fonte, Erik Beiermeister, Steven, his son, and Catena in addition to 3 clientele associates. They’d been generating $7.5 million in annual fees and commissions, based on an individual familiar with their practice, as well as joined Morgan Stanley’s private wealth group for clients with $20 million or perhaps more in the accounts of theirs.
The team had managed $735 million in client assets from seventy six households who have an average net worth of fifty dolars million, as reported by Barron’s, which ranked Catena #33 out of 84 best advisors in Florida in 2020. Mindy Diamond, an industry recruiter who 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 their practice.
Catena, who spent all but a rookie year of the 30 year career of his at Merrill, did not return a request for comment on the team’s move, which took place in December, according to 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 make a move,” Diamond wrote in an email. “But, when his son, Steven, came into the business he soon started viewing his firm with a brand new lens. Would it be good enough for the life of Steven’s career?”
The move comes as Merrill is launching an interesting enhanced sunsetting program in November which can add an additional seventy five percentage points to brokers’ payout once they consent to leave the book of theirs at the firm, but Diamond said the updated Client Transition Program wasn’t “on Larry’s radar” after he’d decided to make the move of his.
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, which works separately from a part in Florham Park, New Jersey, began the career of his 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.
The group is actually at least the fifth that Morgan Stanley has hired from Merrill in recent months as well as appears to be the largest. Additionally, it selected 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 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. Much of the increase came from the addition of around 200 E*Trade advisors that work largely 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 the number of its of branch-based wealth management brokers from its consumer-bank-based Edge brokerage force.