Morgan Stanley has hired a significant Merrill Lynch Private Wealth Management team based in New Jersey and Florida 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 three customer associates. They’d been generating $7.5 million in annual fees and commissions, in accordance with 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 their accounts.
The staff had managed $735 million in client assets from seventy six households that have an average net worth of $50 million, as reported by Barron’s, which ranked Catena #33 out of eighty four top advisors in Florida in 2020. Mindy Diamond, an industry recruiter who 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 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 occurred in December, according to BrokerCheck.
Catena decided to move after the son Steven of his rejoined the team in February 2020 and Lawrence started considering a succession plan for his practice, based on Diamond.
“Larry always thought of himself as a lifer with Merrill-with no purpose to make a move,” Diamond wrote in an email. “But, when the son of his, Steven, came into the business he soon 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 launching a different enhanced sunsetting program in November that can add an extra 75 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 the move of his.
Steven Catena started the career of his at Merrill in 2016 but sojourned at Prudential Investment Management from 2017 until 2020 before rejoining, based on FintechZoom.
Beiermeister, who works individually from a department in Florham Park, New Jersey, started the career of his 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 seems to be the biggest. 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 who 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 who actually left.
It ended 2020 with 15,950 advisors – 482 more than 12 months earlier and 481 higher than at the end of the third quarter. Much 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, 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.