LV= and Royal Liver are in talks over a possible merger, according to press reports.
The reports suggest that talks have been ongoing for weeks and might explain the departure of Royal Liver chief executive Steve Burnett in August.
Chairman David Woods is currently acting chief executive and LV= recently appointed Mark Jones from Friends Provident as head of protection.
The merger would create a mutual with around £10bn in assets.
Royal Liver recently announced its intention to dump loss-making IFA firm Park Row.
Park Row’s last accounts show a £7.4m loss for 2008 compared with a £8.2m loss for 2007 and includes auditor concerns that it may need further support from Royal Liver, depending on an FSA investigation into the firm’s systems and controls.
Talks to transfer Park Row advisers to 2Plan Wealth Management broke down earlier this month and advisers are being offered the opportunity to join Tenet or Personal Touch.
xxis Financial Planning director Owen Wintersgill says: “They are both in the pension and protection market so there will be some duplication as, on the protection side at least, they both offer similar products. If they gain economies of scale and pass that on to the client, it could put them in a strong position.”