Deutsche Bank is reportedly seeking to swap its German life insurance unit for Zurich Scudder, the US asset management arm of Zurich Financial Services.
Unnamed sources said to be close to the negotiations told Reuters news agency that talks were at an advanced stage but that closure was still some weeks off.
Deutsche Bank has long been searching for a suitable acquisition in the US asset management market.
Analysts say the deal could be worth around SFr5 billion ($3 billion), and expect Deutsche Bank to pay about a third of that sum in cash. Zurich Financial said earlier this year that it intended to sell the loss-making unit.
Zurich Financial shares recovered some loss ground on Friday on rumours that a deal was close. Thursday saw the share price plummet nine per cent to a four and a half year low amid poor results for the first half of the year.
swissinfo with agencies