In 1982, Robert Sarver founded the National Bank of Arizona (then the National Bank of Tucson) at age 23 in 1984. He sold it to Zions Bancorporation in 1994. Prior to the sale, National Bank of Arizona had become the largest independent bank in the state. In 1995 he acquired Grossmont Bank, one of San Diego's largest community banks. Grossmont was sold to Zions in 1997. Sarver is currently the CEO of Western Alliance Bank.
A lifelong sports fan, Sarver's quest to purchase an NBA team began with a conversation with University of Arizona basketball coach Lute Olson. Olson referred Sarver to Steve Kerr, a former player at Arizona and a 15-year NBA veteran, to assist him in buying an NBA franchise.
On the 8th January 2015, Robert Sarver offered £20 million for control of Scottish football side Rangers Football Club, having previously had a bid of £18 million turned down a couple of weeks earlier. The second offer was also rejected, and Sarver ended his pursuit to buy Rangers.
Sarver sits on the Board of Trustees of the Sarver Heart Center (Tucson), which he helped build in memory of his late father, who was among the first in an experimental group to undergo bypass surgery. The Sarver Center is affiliated with the University of Arizona and houses over 40 physicians and researchers dedicated to fighting heart disease.