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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 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 as well as three client associates. They had been generating $7.5 million in annual fees and commissions, based on an individual familiar with the practice of theirs, and also joined Morgan Stanley’s private wealth group for clients with twenty dolars million or perhaps more in the accounts of theirs.
The group had managed $735 million in client assets from 76 households which have an average net worth of fifty dolars million, according to Barron’s, which ranked Catena #33 out of eighty four top 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 2 years since Barron’s assessed the practice of theirs.

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 happened in December, based on 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, as reported by Diamond.

“Larry always thought of himself as a lifer with Merrill-with no goal to make a move,” Diamond wrote in an email. “But, when his son, Steven, came into the business he soon started to view his firm with 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 which can add an additional 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 wasn’t “on Larry’s radar” after he’d 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, which works separately 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 didn’t 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 huge Merrill Lynch Private Wealth Management team based in New Jersey and Florida

 

The group is at least the fifth that Morgan Stanley has hired from Merrill in recent months as well as seems to be the largest. In addition, it employed a duo with $500 million in assets in Red Bank, New Jersey last month and a pair of advisors producing about $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 who 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 who actually left.

It ended 2020 with 15,950 advisors – 482 more than twelve weeks earlier and 481 higher than at the end of the third quarter. Most of the increase came out of the addition of around 200 E*Trade advisors who 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 its number of branch-based wealth management brokers from its consumer-bank-based Edge brokerage force.

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