Giant fund manager PDFM is to set up a new life company, with Scottish Life providing the back-office support.
PDFM Life will initially attack the defined-contribution market, including group personal pensions, group AVCs and annuities.
The life company, which is due to launch in the spring, will later look to expand into the IFA market and personal pensions.
PDFM, which has funds under management of £59bn, has appointed director of pooled funds Jeff Hayes to head the life office.
Scottish Life will supply PDFM Life with admin and back-office support through a new subsidiary Scottish Life Administration Services.
ScotLife will be paid a fee for each PDFM policy sold. The two companies refuse to comment on how much cash is involved.
General manager (admin) Brian Duffin says ScotLife is now looking to do similar deals and is in talks with other fund managers.
PDFM's move comes as a number of asset managers look set to launch life operations. JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs are all thought to be interested in setting up life-office divisions.
Hayes says: "We are setting this up to offer our client base a competitive package of pension products and then, in the future, defined contributions. This is a growing area."
Scottish Life marketing consultant Alasdair Buchanan says: "At the moment, we have one client but the expectation is that it will not be the last. There are a number of organisations looking to develop into life and pensions. The least likely way will be to set up their own organisation because of the expense."