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He said: "We have set ourselves up to be a closed book consolidator, and we want to be in a position to be a home for the ongoing running for closed life funds.

"We are a specialist manager for companies like Standard life in terms of really wanting to focus on asset management. 

"In some ways it's not entirely closed. For our existing policyholders, we still continue to collect premiums and we will allow changes to those policies. We also continue to offer certain products to those policyholders as they approach retirement."

The company continues to offer annuities to those coming up to retirement, and the company said it could offer good value. It also has an over 55 product with Sunlife, and the company has a partnership with Just to offer enhanced annuities and income drawdown.

He said: "These funds are closed but we are quite active in seeing new business as well."

While the annuity business will extend the life of the funds under management, the proposed Standard Life Assurance acquisition, which he described as a "major transformation", will mean the possibility of marketing Standard Life branded products to external customers, especially in workplace pensions and Sipps.

Mr Moss came up through the ranks via the acquisitions that the company made along the way, skilfully navigating his way through financial director roles to the top job of chief executive of Phoenix Life, sitting on the board of Phoenix Group and reporting to group chief executive, Clive Bannister.

He joined the group in 2004 as group head of finance at Britannic, becoming deputy finance director of Resolution life when the two companies merged.

Pearl Group then bought Resolution, and eventually rebranded to Phoenix Group Holdings, where Mr Moss became finance director and then chief executive of Phoenix Life.

Ultimately, Phoenix wants to shed the image of being an uncaring company. It has been distributing the estate of with profits funds that are running down - amounting to £1bn over the past five years - and it has recently reunited £13m of lost policies with the rightful owners.

Mr Moss said: "We worry about customers massively. They're very, very important to us [especially] if we want to achieve our aim of consolidation."

Melanie Tringham is deputy features editor of Financial Adviser and

This article has been amended post-publication.