LIFE and pensions giant Royal London has recruited a senior executive from Standard Life Aberdeen (SLA) to lead mergers and acquisitions activity in support of the firm’s push for growth.

Steve Murray is to join mutually-owned Royal London in the newly created role of corporate development director. He is deputy head of private markets at SLA’s Aberdeen Standard Investments operation.

The deal-making veteran was formerly corporate finance director at Standard Life, which completed an £11bn merger with Aberdeen Asset Management in 2017.

Read more: Gilbert steps down as joint boss of investment giant

Last month Royal London recruited the head of Standard Life Aberdeen’s UK business, Barry O’Dwyer, to be its new chief executive.

Royal London said Mr Murray will take the lead on M&A activity, group strategy and operational efficiency.

Its executive chairman Kevin Parry said Mr Murray has a strong reputation in the area of strategic development and is expected to be instrumental in growing the firm, which employs around 1,500 people in Scotland.

Read more: Aberdeen Standard gains Chinese advisory approval

Mr Murray’s appointment is subject to regulatory approval. He is expected to join Royal London later this year,

An Aberdeen Standard Investments spokesperson said: “We thank Steve for his hard work and contribution over the years and wish him all the best in his new role.”

Standard Life Aberdeen sold its UK and European insurance business to Phoenix for £3.2bn last year to focus on the investment business.