Regions Bank, a subsidiary of Regions Financial, has agreed to buy Highland Associates, an institutional investment firm with $26bn in assets, for an undisclosed sum.

Headquartered in the city of Birmingham in Alabama, Highland focuses on offering investment consulting and research to not-for-profit healthcare firms and mission-based organisations.

Apart from Birmingham, the business also has a presence in St. Louis.

The firm will become a Regions Bank unit upon completion of the deal.

It will report through the Regions Wealth Management Group, which oversees $98bn in assets.

Highland will continue to operate under the same brand and investment philosophy. It will also retain its staff.

Highland president and CEO Trey Echols said: “We find ourselves with a unique opportunity to accelerate our plans with the capital and complementary business model of Regions.

“Our founders, Charlie Perry and Bill Terry, established an exceptional company and have an opportunity to see their creation become a significant legacy brand.”

Echols will retain leadership of the firm.

Regions Financial president and CEO John Turner said: “Highland Associates has an attractive growth profile and a strong reputation for excellence serving the not-for-profit healthcare sector.

“The addition of Highland Associates complements our existing asset management and healthcare banking practice areas and will enable us to provide additional capabilities to meet client needs while also diversifying our business.”