Morgan Stanley has hired a huge 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. Catena, his son, Steven, Erik Beiermeister, and Mercedes Fonte and also 3 clientele associates. They had been generating $7.5 million in annual fees and commissions, according to a person familiar with their practice, as well as joined Morgan Stanley’s private wealth team for clients with twenty dolars million or even more in their accounts.
The team had managed $735 million in client assets from 76 households which have an average net worth of fifty dolars million, as reported by 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 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 the practice of theirs.
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 took place in December, based on 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, 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 the son of his, Steven, came into the business he began 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 launching a brand-new enhanced sunsetting program in November that can add an additional seventy five percentage points to brokers’ payout whenever 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 had decided to make his move.
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, began his career at Merrill in 2001, according to BrokerCheck. Fonte started her career at Merrill in 2015.
A spokesperson for Merrill did not immediately return a request for comment.
The group is a minimum of the fifth that Morgan Stanley has hired from Merrill in recent months and also seems to be the biggest. Additionally, it hired a duo with $500 million in assets in Red Bank, New Jersey last month as well as a pair of advisors producing aproximatelly $2.6 million from Merrill in Maryland.
In December, Morgan Stanley lured a solo producer in California that had won asset growth accolades from Merrill and in October hired a 26-year Merrill lifer in a Chicago suburb that was producing 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 in recent times 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 12 months earlier and 481 higher than at the end of the third quarter. Much of the increase came out of the inclusion 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.