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Morgan Stanley has hired a big 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 as it contributes 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 in addition to three customer associates. They had been generating […]

Morgan Stanley has hired a big Merrill Lynch Private Wealth Management team based in Florida and New Jersey as it contributes 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 in addition to three customer associates. They had 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 twenty dolars million or perhaps 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 $50 million, based on Barron's, which ranked Catena #33 out of 84 best advisors in Florida in 2020. Mindy Diamond, an industry recruiter who 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 but a rookie year of his 30 year career at Merrill, didn't return a request for comment on the team's move, which happened 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, according to Diamond.

"Larry always thought of himself as a lifer with Merrill-with no goal to come up with a move," Diamond wrote in an email. "But, when the son of his, Steven, came into the business he began viewing the firm of his through a 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 which can add an extra seventy five percentage points to brokers' payout when 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 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, who works individually from a branch in Florham Park, New Jersey, began the career of his 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 big 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 actually a minimum of the fifth that Morgan Stanley has hired from Merrill in recent months as well as appears to be the largest. Additionally, it employed 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 which 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 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 weeks earlier and 481 higher than at the conclusion of the third quarter. Most of the increase came out of the inclusion of over 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 the number of its of branch-based wealth management brokers from its consumer-bank-based Edge brokerage force.

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