Valent Group, an EBSCO Company, Hires 30-Year Veteran to Lead Birmingham Risk Consulting Property and Casualty Broking and Service Departments

Valent Group, an EBSCO Company, Hires 30-Year Veteran to Lead Birmingham Risk Consulting Property and Casualty Broking and Service Departments

Press Release ( - BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - Apr 17, 2019 - Valent Group, the risk consulting and insurance division of EBSCO Industries (EBSCO), announces that 30-year insurance veteran Kurt Close has joined the company to lead the Birmingham property and casualty broking and service departments.

Close comes to Valent Group after an impressive career with Travelers Insurance, where he oversaw and grew its middle market commercial practice in Alabama and Mississippi.

“We are dedicated to bringing on leaders who will put team members and clients first and who will ensure that they will ‘Experience the Difference’ when working with Valent Group,” said Paul Barber, president of the firm. “Kurt is a veteran leader in our industry and his reputation for building, leading and serving teams and clients is second to none. We are delighted to have Kurt on our team.”

As managing director for Travelers Insurance, Close was responsible for leading his practice during an impressive period of premium and account executive staff growth. He brings a special, personal attention to coaching, training and developing talent for the next generation of insurance and underwriting leaders.

In his new role as Valent Group’s Senior Vice President of Property and Casualty, Close will be responsible for serving, leading and mentoring the broking/marketing team, as well as the client management team, in the firm’s property and casualty practice. He will work closely with the sales team to develop strategies for executing on the vision of the firm to provide clients with a Fortune 1000 experience across all aspects of the practice.

“I’m honored for this opportunity to serve Valent Group’s property and casualty group and the clients we support,” Close said. “Both Valent Group and our parent company, EBSCO Industries, have a reputation in Alabama and across the Southeast for truly caring for clients through fantastic customer service and technical aptitude; this directly connects with my background and vision for building the best firm to work for—and with—in our space.”

Close is a graduate of Samford University, where he played four years of college basketball. Originally from Sylacauga, he spent 10 years in Atlanta before coming home to Birmingham, where he has been for the past nine years.

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Valent Group provides risk consulting and insurance for businesses, employer benefit groups and individuals across Alabama and nationwide. Valent Group is an independently owned firm headquartered in Birmingham, Alabama, with offices in Huntsville, Mobile and Decatur. They are a division of EBSCO Industries, a privately held global company. For more information, visit

Founded in 1944 by the late Elton B. Stephens, EBSCO Industries, Inc. has evolved into a global company with businesses in a range of industries, including Information Services, Publishing and Digital Media, Outdoor Products, Real Estate, Manufacturing and Distribution and Business Services. Headquartered in Birmingham, Alabama, EBSCO operates divisions and subsidiaries in 23 countries, employing almost 5,000 people. For a complete listing of EBSCO’s business groups, please visit

Sonia Blumstein

Source : Valent Group

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