Morgan Stanley has hired a huge Merrill Lynch Private Wealth Management team based in New Jersey and Florida

Morgan Stanley has hired a significant 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. Mercedes Fonte, Erik Beiermeister, Steven, his son, and Catena as well as three client associates. They had been generating $7.5 million in annual fees and commissions, based on a person familiar with the practice of theirs, and also joined Morgan Stanley’s private wealth group for clients with $20 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 fifty dolars million, as reported by Barron’s, which ranked Catena #33 out of 84 top advisors in Florida in 2020. Mindy Diamond, an industry recruiter that 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 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 took place in December, based on 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, as reported by Diamond.

“Larry always thought of himself as a lifer with Merrill with no intention to come up with a move,” Diamond wrote in an email. “But, when the son of his, Steven, came into the business he soon started viewing 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 actually launching a new enhanced sunsetting program in November that can add an extra seventy five percentage points to brokers’ payout whenever 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, as reported by FintechZoom.

Beiermeister, that works individually from a part in Florham Park, New Jersey, started the career of his at Merrill in 2001, according to BrokerCheck. Fonte started the career of her at Merrill in 2015.

A spokesperson for Merrill did not 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 big Merrill Lynch Private Wealth Management team based in New Jersey and Florida

 

The group is a minimum of the fifth that Morgan Stanley has hired from Merrill in recent months and also seems to be the largest. Additionally, 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 that 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 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 12 months earlier and 481 higher than at the end of the third quarter. A lot of the increase came out of the addition of over 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.