Aberdeen Asset Management and Standard Life confirmed their intention to pursue a deal on Saturday evening following earlier media reports about an £11 billion merger.
The move would create one of the world’s largest industry powerhouses, overseeing £660 billion worth of global assets, to invest for growth, innovate and drive greater operational efficiency.
Under the terms of the potential merger, Aberdeen shareholders would own 33.3% and Standard Life shareholders would own 66.7% of the combined group.
Standard Life chairman Sir Gerry Grimstone would become chairman of the board, with Aberdeen’s chairman Simon Troughton becoming deputy chairman. Standard Life and Aberdeen’s current chief executives, Keith Skeoch and Martin Gilbert would become co-chief executives.
The companies said the deal was still subject to a number of conditions, including shareholder approvals.
The joint statement said: “Standard Life and Aberdeen’s long-term success has been built through differentiated, but complementary, strategies that have delivered attractive growth and returns for clients and shareholders.
“The potential merger represents an excellent opportunity to leverage Standard Life and Aberdeen’s combined strengths to create a world class investment company.
“It is envisaged that the board of directors of the combined group would comprise equal numbers of Standard Life and Aberdeen directors.
“The combined group would draw on the expertise across its markets and would endeavour to harness the talent in both companies to optimise the benefits for clients and shareholders of the combined group.”