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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 New Jersey and Florida 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 customer associates. They’d been generating $7.5 million in annual fees and commissions, according to an individual familiar with the practice of theirs, and also joined Morgan Stanley’s private wealth group for clients with $20 million or even more in the accounts of theirs.
The team had managed $735 million in client assets from 76 households who 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 that 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 two years since Barron’s assessed their practice.

Catena, who spent all however, a rookie year of the 30 year career of his at Merrill, did not return a request for comment on the team’s move, which took place in December, as reported by BrokerCheck.

Catena made the decision to move after his son Steven rejoined the team in February 2020 and Lawrence started considering a succession plan for his practice, based on 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 his son, Steven, came into the business he started viewing the firm of his with a whole new lens. Would it be good enough for the life of Steven’s career?”

The move comes as Merrill is actually launching an interesting enhanced sunsetting program in November that can add an additional seventy five percentage points to brokers’ payout when they agree to leave the book of theirs 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 his career at Merrill in 2016 but sojourned at Prudential Investment Management from 2017 until 2020 before rejoining, according to FintechZoom.

Beiermeister, that works separately from a branch in Florham Park, New Jersey, started his career at Merrill in 2001, as reported by 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 New Jersey and Florida
Morgan Stanley has hired a big Merrill Lynch Private Wealth Management team based in Florida and New Jersey

 

The group is a minimum of the fifth that Morgan Stanley has hired from Merrill in recent months as well as seems to be the biggest. It also employed a duo with $500 million in assets in Red Bank, New Jersey last month and a pair of advisors producing aproximatelly $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 who 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 first time in recent times it closed its net recruiting gap to near zero as the amount of new hires offset those who left.

It ended 2020 with 15,950 advisors – 482 more than twelve 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 its number of branch-based wealth management brokers from its consumer-bank-based Edge brokerage force.

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