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Catlin, the Lloyd's of London insurer with 2,400 staff, has agreed to be acquired by XL of Ireland for £2.5bn.
Catlin, the insurance underwriter, is in negotiations to set up a 115,000 sq ft office at 20 Gracechurch Street in London EC3.
Catlin is to acquire Wellington Underwriting, the London-based insurance company, for £591m.
Catlin is planning to raise £119m in a share offer to fund the expansion of its Lloyd's of London insurance business.
Catlin of Bermuda is seeking permission from the Financial Services Authority to open an insurance office in the UK.