Morgan Stanley has hired a significant Merrill Lynch Private Wealth Management team based in New Jersey and Florida 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 and also three customer associates. They had been generating $7.5 million in annual fees and commissions, according to a person familiar with the practice of theirs, and joined Morgan Stanley’s private wealth team for clients with twenty dolars million or perhaps more in the accounts of theirs.
The group had managed $735 million in client assets from seventy six households who have an average net worth of $50 million, based on 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 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 though 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, according to BrokerCheck.
Catena made the decision 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 come up with 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 with a brand new lens. Would it be good enough for the life of Steven’s career?”
The move comes as Merrill is actually launching a completely new enhanced sunsetting program in November which can add an extra 75 percentage points to brokers’ payout once they agree to leave their book 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 the career of his at Merrill in 2016 but sojourned at Prudential Investment Management from 2017 until 2020 before rejoining, as reported by FintechZoom.
Beiermeister, which works individually from a part in Florham Park, New Jersey, started his career at Merrill in 2001, based on 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 biggest. Additionally, it hired 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 producing much 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 in recent years it closed its net recruiting gap to near zero as the number of new hires offset those that left.
It ended 2020 with 15,950 advisors – 482 more than twelve weeks earlier and 481 higher than at the conclusion of the third quarter. A lot of the increase came out of the addition of more than 200 E*Trade advisors that 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 the number of its of branch based wealth management brokers from its consumer-bank-based Edge brokerage force.