Regions Bank continues to reconstitute its wealth management business in the wake of last year’s sale of its brokerage unit Morgan Keegan.

In its latest move, Regions tapped Prudential to provide an advanced technology platform that it says will allow portfolio managers and advisors to help affluent and institutional clients in a more cost-effective way.

The platform replaces the system it had in place when it owned Morgan Keegan, according to Don Korn, director of portfolio management for the Regions Wealth Management Group. What’s new about the platform is that it incorporates a unified managed account structure, which allows advisors and portfolio managers to buy the best ideas from asset managers through overlay portfolio management technology.

“Instead of them executing the trades and managing the trades from afar, they’re just sending us their best ideas and we’re implementing them within our portfolios more efficiently,” Korn said in a telephone interview. “The UMA structure is the most advanced structure and it’s the cheapest.”

The new technology will serve clients in Regions’ Private Wealth Management and Institutional Services divisions, Korn said.

In addition to systems technology, Prudential will provide Regions with due diligence of outside managers, helping to “create a platform of managers that portfolio managers in the field have to select from,” Korn said.

Prudential will also provide in-field support to advisors and portfolio managers to “help them close more business,” added John Yackel, senior vice president and director of business development, sales and relationship management of the Prudential's Wealth Management Solutions unit. This in-field support to “drive sales for the top line” complements the contribution to the bottom line through greater scale and technological efficiency, he said.

The implementation of the platform began in December with the transition of all separately managed accounts—the structure used in the old Morgan Keegan platform—to the new Prudential system.  On Feb. 11, Regions will launch the full platform to all portfolio managers and advisors in the field, according to Korn.

“What we found was that not only were we able to execute at a high level what we were executing before. There was additional technology out there that allowed us to structure portfolios more efficiently for our clients,” said Korn.

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