Invesco Ltd. is in talks to merge with State Street Corp.’s asset-management business, people familiar with the matter said.

A deal isn’t imminent, and the discussions might not result in an agreement, the people said. It isn’t clear what the terms of a potential deal would look like, but it would be one of the industry’s biggest in recent memory, given State Street’s asset-management unit manages nearly $4 trillion in assets.

State Street
STT,
-0.99%

is one of the world’s largest custody banks, providing accounting and administrative services to other investment managers. The firm’s own investing unit, State Street Global Advisors, remains a leading seller of exchange-traded funds, the low-cost investing structure the firm pioneered.

Invesco
IVZ,
-2.58%

oversees $1.5 trillion in assets and manages a large ETF business. It has a market value of about $11 billion, compared with roughly $32 billion for State Street.

An expanded version of this report appears on WSJ.com.

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