The recently announced billion-dollar deal for Raymond James to buy the Morgan Keegan brokerage and investment banking arm of Regions Financial Corp. closes sometime this month or next. (In addition to the $930 million purchase price, the deal includes a $250 million dividend to Regions paid by Morgan Keegan.)

That will leave Regions, a financial institution with some $127 billion in assets and 1,700 branches spread across 16 southeastern and midwestern states, with a gaping hole in its once-vaunted investment program.

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