F&C and Resolution Asset Management (RAM) will combine on terms agreed by the new joint venture Friends Financial Group and F&C.
The possible acquisition of RAM by F&C is subject to UK listing rules and independent shareholder approval.
F&C says it will continue to be separately listed and majority owned by Friends Financial. It estimates a combination of itself and RAM, which together had £165bn assets under management at the end of 2006, could provide an annual £26m before tax saving.
It says the united asset management operation would be a “leading manager of UK life fund assets as well as a significant manager of third party funds”.
“Subject to reaching an agreement with the F&C board, F&C's management will lead the integration of F&C and RAM in such a way as to build on the capabilities and skills of both businesses,” it says.
“The combined business will work closely with joint venture partners of both groups.”
A Resolution spokesperson added: "Right now we are at the beginning of the process and it is going to be business as usual until more details emerge."
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