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Morgan Stanley has hired a significant Merrill Lynch Private Wealth Management team based in New Jersey and Florida

Morgan Stanley has hired a significant 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. Mercedes Fonte, Erik Beiermeister, Steven, his son, and Catena and also 3 customer associates. They’d been generating $7.5 million in annual fees and commissions, based on an individual familiar with the practice of theirs, and joined Morgan Stanley’s private wealth team for clients with twenty dolars million or more in their accounts.
The team had managed $735 million in client assets from seventy six households which have an average net worth of fifty dolars million, according to Barron’s, which ranked Catena #33 out of 84 best advisors in Florida in 2020. Mindy Diamond, an industry recruiter who worked with the team on their move, 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 his 30 year career at Merrill, did not return a request for comment on the team’s move, which took place in December, based on BrokerCheck.

Catena decided to move after his son Steven rejoined the team in February 2020 and Lawrence began 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 the son of his, Steven, came into the business he started viewing the firm of his with a whole new lens. Would it be good enough for the life of Steven’s career?”

The move comes as Merrill is launching a different enhanced sunsetting program in November that can add an additional seventy five percentage points to brokers’ payout whenever 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’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, according to FintechZoom.

Beiermeister, that works separately from a part 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 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 and also seems to be the largest. Additionally, it selected a duo with $500 million in assets in Red Bank, New Jersey last month and 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 which was producing 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 12 weeks earlier and 481 higher than at the conclusion of the third quarter. Much of the increase came out of the addition of around 200 E*Trade advisors that work largely from call centers, a Morgan Stanley executive said.

Merrill Lynch, which has stood by its freeze 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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