Morgan Stanley has hired a huge 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 clientele associates. They’d been generating $7.5 million in annual fees and commissions, in accordance with a person familiar with the practice of theirs, as well as joined Morgan Stanley’s private wealth group for clients with twenty dolars million or more in their accounts.
The group had managed $735 million in client assets from 76 households that have an average net worth of fifty dolars million, as reported by Barron’s, which ranked Catena #33 out of 84 top advisors in Florida in 2020. Mindy Diamond, an industry recruiter who worked with the group 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 the practice of theirs.
Catena, who spent all though 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 decided 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 intention to create a move,” Diamond wrote in an email. “But, when the son of his, Steven, came into the business he 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 actually launching a different enhanced sunsetting program in November which can add an extra seventy five percentage points to brokers’ payout once they consent 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 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, based on FintechZoom.
Beiermeister, which works individually from a department 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.
The group is actually a minimum of the fifth that Morgan Stanley has hired from Merrill in recent months and seems to be the biggest. In addition, it hired a duo with $500 million in assets in Red Bank, New Jersey last month as well as a pair of advisors producing about $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 which was producing 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 very first time in recent times 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 12 months earlier and 481 higher than at the end of the third quarter. A lot of the increase came from the inclusion of around 200 E*Trade advisors who work largely from call centers, a Morgan Stanley executive said.
Merrill Lynch, that 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.