Morgan Stanley has hired a significant Merrill Lynch Private Wealth Management team based in New Jersey and Florida
Morgan Stanley has hired a huge Merrill Lynch Private Wealth Management team based in Florida and New Jersey as it adds 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 3 client associates. They'd been generating $7.5 […]

Morgan Stanley has hired a huge Merrill Lynch Private Wealth Management team based in Florida and New Jersey as it adds 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 3 client associates. They'd been generating $7.5 million in annual fees and commissions, according to an individual familiar with their practice, as well as joined Morgan Stanley's private wealth group for clients with $20 million or perhaps more in their accounts.
The team had managed $735 million in client assets from 76 households that have an average net worth of fifty dolars million, based on Barron's, which ranked Catena #33 out of eighty four best advisors in Florida in 2020. Mindy Diamond, an industry recruiter which 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, did not return a request for comment on the team's move, which took place in December, according to BrokerCheck.

Catena made the decision 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, 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 the firm of his through a brand new lens. Would it be good enough for the life of Steven's career?"

The move comes as Merrill is launching a unique enhanced sunsetting program in November that can add an additional 75 percentage points to brokers' payout whenever 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'd decided to make his move.

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, who works individually from a department in Florham Park, New Jersey, started the career of his at Merrill in 2001, as reported by 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 big 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 Florida and New Jersey

 

The group is actually at least the fifth that Morgan Stanley has hired from Merrill in recent months and seems to be the biggest. It also 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 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 times it closed its net recruiting gap to near zero as the number of new hires offset those who left.

It ended 2020 with 15,950 advisors - 482 more than 12 months earlier and 481 higher than at the conclusion of the third quarter. Most of the increase came from the inclusion of around 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.

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