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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 New Jersey and Florida 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 and also three clientele associates. They’d been generating $7.5 million in annual fees and commissions, in accordance with a person familiar with their practice, and joined Morgan Stanley’s private wealth team for clients with $20 million or more in their accounts.
The staff had managed $735 million in client assets from 76 households who have an average net worth of fifty dolars million, based on Barron’s, which ranked Catena #33 out of eighty four top 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 their practice.

Catena, who spent all however, a rookie year of his 30 year career at Merrill, didn’t return a request for comment on the team’s move, which occurred 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 began considering a succession plan for his practice, according to Diamond.

“Larry always thought of himself as a lifer with Merrill-with no objective to create a move,” Diamond wrote in an email. “But, when his son, Steven, came into the business he soon began to view his firm with a brand new lens. Would it be good enough for the life of Steven’s career?”

The move comes as Merrill is launching a brand-new enhanced sunsetting program in November that can add an additional 75 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 wasn’t “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, as reported by FintechZoom.

Beiermeister, which works separately from a branch in Florham Park, New Jersey, began the career of his at Merrill in 2001, according to 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 Florida and New Jersey
Morgan Stanley has hired a significant Merrill Lynch Private Wealth Management team based in New Jersey and Florida

 

The group is at least the fifth that Morgan Stanley has hired from Merrill in recent months as well as seems to be the biggest. Additionally, it employed a duo with $500 million in assets in Red Bank, New Jersey last month in addition to 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 generating 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 years it closed its net recruiting gap to near zero as the amount of new hires offset those who actually left.

It ended 2020 with 15,950 advisors – 482 more than twelve weeks earlier and 481 higher than at the end of the third quarter. Most of the increase came from the addition of around 200 E*Trade advisors that work primarily 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.

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