Scottish Widows set for merger talks with Standard Life

Skeoch Keith Standard Life Investments
Standard Life chief executive Keith Skeoch

Standard Life is eyeing a potential merger with rival Scottish Widows.

Talks between the two Scottish groups are said to be starting this week, sources told The Sunday Times.

Standard Life is in the process of merging with Aberdeen Asset Management in a deal which is set to complete in the coming months.

The new firm, named Standard Life Aberdeen, will be co-headed by Aberdeen’s head Martin Gilbert and Standard Life’s chief executive Keith Skeoch.

Lloyds Banking Group, which owns Scottish Widows, has already a close relationship with Aberdeen, since its 2013 acquisition of Scottish Widows Investment Partnership, the insurer’s fund management arm.

The deal means Lloyds holds a near-10 per cent stake in Aberdeen.

Discussions on the strategic partnership with Lloyds were already mentioned when Standard Life and Aberdeen announced their plans to merge earlier this year.

However, the newspaper says potential talks will need to wait until shareholders vote on the Standard Life’s merger with Aberdeen, which is set to take place today.