July 26, 2017 -- Birmingham, AL. S.S. Nesbitt & Co. Inc., a Southeastern insurance agency and division of EBSCO Industries Inc. (EBSCO), announced today it has appointed insurance veteran Paul Barber as president.
"Our board of directors seeks strong growth from S.S. Nesbitt, and we've selected a strong operations and sales leader in Paul Barber to build upon our 60-year legacy in the insurance business," said Bryson Stephens, chairman of the board for EBSCO Industries, a privately-held Fortune 200 company. "EBSCO is committed to doubling S.S. Nesbitt's growth over the next five to 10 years through individual talent and agency acquisitions; culture and organizational development; and most importantly, top-tier client services. Our vision is to be the best privately-owned insurance agency in the Southeast, and Paul Barber is the perfect executive to lead our agency forward."
Barber comes to S.S. Nesbitt after having spent 25 years in a variety of leadership roles at McGriff, Seibels & Williams Inc. (McGriff), a national insurance agency. He most recently served as senior vice president of branch operations, partnering with sales leaders in McGriff's Dallas, Atlanta and Seattle offices. There he provided operational and management support to more than 200 insurance professionals generating a combined agency revenue of nearly $100 million.
"Insurance is about relationships and cultivating trust with our employees, clients and carriers," said Barber. "We will couple that with providing the absolute highest level of customer service to ensure our clients' insurance programs are strategic and cost-effective. By working as a team, we're going to win as a team—for our clients, our strategic partners and our agency."
S.S. Nesbitt also announced that Cooper Johnson has been appointed benefits practice leader. Johnson has been with S.S. Nesbitt for 10 years and is one of the region's most sought-after employee benefits consultants. In his new role, Johnson will be devoted to the strategic development and growth of the agency's employee benefits consulting practice, while continuing to partner with companies to solve their most pressing people issues.
"Paul Barber's reputation in our industry is exceptional, and it is an honor to partner with both him and EBSCO as we grow the footprint of our agency," said Johnson. "Our employee benefits practice has always gone ‘beyond benefits,' and we plan to expand our internal resources to meet companies' ever-growing and changing compliance, HR and talent requirements. We will also broaden our services and reach through the acquisition of talented employee benefits practices."
Barber spent the past year mentoring young business leaders with Richard Simmons at The Center for Executive Leadership. As president of S.S. Nesbitt, Barber will continue to serve as a mentor with the center, focusing on life coaching with a particular emphasis on spiritual formation, leadership development and character development.
"EBSCO is a remarkable company with great leadership," added Barber. "Their commitment to employees makes it possible for S.S. Nesbitt to create the kind of sales culture that will allow us to build the greatest insurance agency in the Southeast."
About S.S. Nesbitt
S.S. Nesbitt is a privately-held independent insurance agency based in Birmingham, Alabama, with multiple locations in the Southeastern United States. These offices provide all lines of insurance in partnership with specialized carriers. S.S. Nesbitt was named a 2016 Best Practices Agency by the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America and has the backing of EBSCO Industries Inc., a privately-held global corporation that began in 1944 and now owns more than 20 businesses in a variety of industries.
About EBSCO Industries Inc.
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 6,000 people. For a complete listing of EBSCO's business groups, please visit www.ebscoind.com.