STANDARD Life chairman Sir Gerry Grimstone has said the planned £11 billion merger with Aberdeen Asset Management will create a “major, major” global company with its headquarters in Scotland and played down the likely impact on jobs.

Speaking days after Standard Life and Aberdeen said the merger would be likely to result in 800 job losses across the enlarged group, Sir Gerry said cuts would be inevitable in areas where there is duplication.

Standard Life and Aberdeen Asset Management both have administrative centres in Scotland. They employ around 5,700 people in total in the country and 9,200 globally.

However, Sir Gerry suggested the enlarged company’s operations in Scotland could be long term winners under a deal that directors expect will create a powerhouse in the global investment business.

By combining Edinburgh-based Standard Life’s strength in pensions and investment with Aberdeen’s expertise in areas such as emerging markets the enlarged group will be well placed to capitalise on growing demand for savings products around the world.

It will be called Standard Life Aberdeen.

Stressing the merger is about growth and not cut backs, Sir Gerry said: “Scotland is a good centre for us to employ people. We’re strong supporters of Scotland, strong supporters of the economy. I wouldn’t be surprised to find in some areas in due course jobs would increase.”

He added: “We like being a major Scottish company. Why should that change? The workforce here is as good as anywhere in the world.”

Discounting suggestions a merger with Aberdeen could result in asset management activity being transferred to London, Sir Gerry noted: “In a way our critical mass in Scotland will be such that it almost reinforces the position of Scotland in this.”

He confirmed the enlarged business will have headquarters in Edinburgh, should shareholders approve the merger with Aberdeen.

Asked if the Scottish Government had expressed any concern about the implications of the deal, Sir Gerry said: “I think they welcome the creation of this major Scottish company.”

He indicated that possible uncertainty regarding Scotland’s position in the UK following the Brexit vote was not causing concern in the Standard Life boardroom.

The company would assess the possible implications of any second independence referendum on its business and customers.

He said Standard Life had only suggested re-registering some funds in London for regulatory reasons if Scotland had voted for independence in 2014. “This wasn’t a shutting the business down … this was a legal matter of redomiciling funds,” noted Sir Gerry.

He noted concerns the fallout from the Brexit vote could damage the financial services ecosystem in Scotland, saying: “One of the worries in London is that there might be some fragmentation of that ecosystem as a result of Brexit.”

Standard Life expects to make only limited changes that will result in the savings business it operates in continental Europe being serviced from Dublin. A small number of jobs may transfer there from the UK.

Speaking to reporters before Standard Life’s general meeting in Edinburgh, Sir Gerry noted the potential benefits of the deal could be a strategic relationship with Lloyds Banking Group, which owns Scottish Widows.

Sir Gerry noted such a relationship could not be discussed before the proposed merger with Aberdeen is completed.

But he added: “The way I look at it there’s an aspiration to see how these two great companies might work together.”

There has been talk that Lloyds could move the funds that Aberdeen Asset Management looks after for Scottish Widows if it combines with Standard Life.

Sir Gerry highlighted the benefit of having an integrated organisation that gathered in assets through pensions and savings operations for fund managers to invest.

Regarding the plan for Keith Skeoch of Standard Life and Aberdeen Asset Management’s Martin Gilbert to be joint chief executives of the enlarged group, he said:: “Why I’m confident that it will work is because they are so different,” ”

Investors in both firms will vote on the merger at meetings scheduled for 19 June. It was not discussed in detail at Standard Life’s AGM. One shareholder in the firm said Aberdeen needed the deal more than Standard Life did.