British fund managers Standard Life and Aberdeen Asset Management confirmed Saturday they were in talks about a possible all-share merger, which reports said could be worth £11 billion ($13.5 billion, 12.7 billion euros).
The move would create one of the world's largest financial powerhouses, overseeing £660 billion worth of global assets.
"The boards of Standard Life and Aberdeen confirm that they are in discussions in relation to a possible all-share merger," they said in a statement.
"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."
The Financial Times newspaper said the deal could be worth some £11 billion.
Under the terms of the potential merger, Aberdeen shareholders would own 33.3 percent and Standard Life shareholders 66.7 percent of the combined group.
The statement said the potential merger would "establish one of the largest and most sophisticated investment solutions offerings globally."
It said Standard Life chairman Gerry Grimstone would chair the combined group, with Aberdeen's chairman Simon Troughton becoming his deputy.
Standard Life chief executive Keith Skeoch and his Aberdeen counterpart Martin Gilbert would become joint chief executives of the combined group, for which no new name has yet been put forward.
The board would have equal numbers of Standard Life and Aberdeen directors, it is envisaged.
"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," the statement said.
Standard Life, established in 1825, is headquartered in Edinburgh, while Aberdeen is based in the city it is named after on Scotland's northeast coast.
Standard Life handles pensions, savings, insurance and investments and has around 4.5 million customers.
Aberdeen was established in 1983 and was listed on the London Stock Exchange in 1991. It operates in 25 countries and styles itself as "one of Europe's largest public, pure-play investment managers".
Sky News television said the two companies together have a workforce of 9,000.