Morgan Stanley has hired a huge 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. 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, based on a person familiar with their practice, as well as joined Morgan Stanley’s private wealth team for clients with twenty dolars million or perhaps more in the accounts of theirs.
The team had managed $735 million in client assets from seventy six households that have an average net worth of fifty dolars million, according to Barron’s, which ranked Catena #33 out of 84 top advisors in Florida in 2020. Mindy Diamond, an industry recruiter who 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 but 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 happened 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 his practice, 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 the son of his, Steven, came into the business he began to view the firm of his 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 different enhanced sunsetting program in November which can add an additional seventy five percentage points to brokers’ payout once 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 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, according to FintechZoom.
Beiermeister, that works separately from a branch in Florham Park, New Jersey, began his career at Merrill in 2001, based on 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 and also seems to be the largest. Additionally, it selected 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 who had won asset growth accolades from Merrill and in October hired a 26 year Merrill lifer in a Chicago suburb that was generating 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 recently it closed its net recruiting gap to near zero as the number of new hires offset those that left.
It ended 2020 with 15,950 advisors – 482 more than twelve months earlier and 481 higher than at the conclusion of the third quarter. Most of the increase came out of the inclusion of more than 200 E*Trade advisors that 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.