Morgan Stanley has hired a huge Merrill Lynch Private Wealth Management team based in New Jersey and Florida as it contributes 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 client 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 group for clients with twenty dolars million or perhaps more in their accounts.
The team had managed $735 million in client assets from 76 households who have an average net worth of $50 million, as reported by Barron’s, which ranked Catena #33 out of 84 best advisors in Florida in 2020. Mindy Diamond, an industry recruiter which worked with the team 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 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 decided to move after the son Steven of his rejoined the team in February 2020 and Lawrence started considering a succession plan for the practice of his, according to 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 the son of his, Steven, came into the business he started viewing his firm 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 that can add an additional 75 percentage points to brokers’ payout when they consent to leave the book of theirs at the firm, but Diamond said the updated Client Transition Program wasn’t “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 separately from a department in Florham Park, New Jersey, began 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 actually a minimum of the fifth that Morgan Stanley has hired from Merrill in recent months as well as seems to be the largest. It also hired a duo with $500 million in assets in Red Bank, New Jersey last month in addition to 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 which was producing 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 in recent years 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 twelve weeks earlier and 481 higher than at the end of the third quarter. Much of the increase came out of the inclusion of around 200 E*Trade advisors who work primarily from call centers, a Morgan Stanley executive said.
Merrill Lynch, which has stood by its freeze 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.