Morgan Stanley has hired a huge 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. Catena, his son, Steven, Erik Beiermeister, and Mercedes Fonte as well as three client associates. They had been generating $7.5 million in annual fees and commissions, according to an individual familiar with the practice of theirs, and joined Morgan Stanley’s private wealth group for clients with twenty dolars million or perhaps more in their accounts.
The group had managed $735 million in client assets from seventy six households that have an average net worth of $50 million, according to Barron’s, which ranked Catena #33 out of 84 top rated advisors in Florida in 2020. Mindy Diamond, an industry recruiter which worked with the group on their move, said that the total assets of theirs were $1.2 billion when factoring in new clients and market appreciation in the two years since Barron’s assessed their practice.
Catena, who spent all although 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 took place 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 the practice of his, according to Diamond.
“Larry always thought of himself as a lifer with Merrill with no intention to create a move,” Diamond wrote in an email. “But, when his son, Steven, came into the business he began viewing the firm of his 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 different enhanced sunsetting program in November that can add an extra seventy five percentage points to brokers’ payout once they agree 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 his career at Merrill in 2016 but sojourned at Prudential Investment Management from 2017 until 2020 before rejoining, based on FintechZoom.
Beiermeister, which works individually from a department in Florham Park, New Jersey, started 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.
The group is a minimum of the fifth that Morgan Stanley has hired from Merrill in recent months as well as appears to be the largest. In addition, 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 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 times 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 twelve months earlier and 481 higher than at the conclusion of the third quarter. Most of the increase came out of the inclusion of around 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.