Robert Sarver

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Robert Sarver
Sarvermwaa.jpg
Sarver, 2011
Born 1961 (age 53–54)
Nationality United States
Ethnicity Jewish
Occupation businessman
real estate investor
Known for majority owner of the Phoenix Suns
Spouse(s) Penny Sanders
Children Max Sarver
Jake Sarver
Zach Sarver
Parent(s) Irene and Jack Sarver

Robert Sarver (born 1961 in Tucson, Arizona) is the majority owner of the National Basketball Association franchise Phoenix Suns. He bought the NBA franchise from Jerry Colangelo in the spring of 2004. He is also the owner of the Women's National Basketball Association franchise Phoenix Mercury.

Early life and education[edit]

Sarver was born to a Jewish family in Tucson, the son of Irene and Jack Sarver.[1] His father was a prominent Tucson businessman, banker and hotel developer (the elder Sarver built the Aztec Inn, the Plaza International Hotel (now an Aloft Hotel) at Speedway and Campbell in Tucson in the early 1970s,[2] built and operated the Tucson area Howard Johnson's locations, and headed a local savings and loan). Jack Sarver died of a heart attack in 1979; Robert Sarver would eventually donate to his alma mater, the University of Arizona, funds to its heart research center, which in 1998 was renamed the Sarver Heart Center in honor of his father.[3] At age 16, he went to work for his father's company, American Savings and Loan.[4] Sarver is a 1979 graduate of Sabino High School in Tucson and a 1982 graduate of the University of Arizona with a bachelor's degree in business administration.[4] In 1983, Sarver became a certified public accountant.[4]

Career[edit]

In 1984, Sarver founded the National Bank of Tucson (which he expanded statewide and change the name to the National Bank of Arizona).[4] In 1990, he co-founded the real estate company Southwest Value Partners with Millard Seldin.[4] In 1994, he sold the National Bank of Arizona, then the largest independent bank in the state, to Zions Bancorporation.[4] In 1995, Southwest Value Partners purchased the Emerald Plaza in San Diego.[4] In 1995, he acquired Grossmont Bank, one of San Diego's largest community banks. Grossmont was also sold to Zions Bancorporation in 1997.[5] In 2004, his jointly owned real estate firm, Southwest Value Partners, sold the Emerald Plaza and two other San Diego office buildings to Santa Ana real estate firm, Triple Net Properties, for $274.5 million.[6] In 1998, he led Zions Bancorporation's acquisition of Sumitomo Bank of California.[4] In 2003, he became chairman, president, and CEO of Western Alliance Bancorporation.[4][7]

Phoenix Suns[edit]

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. In 2004, he purchased the Suns for a record $401 million[4]

Rangers[edit]

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.

Personal life[edit]

In 1996, he married Penny Sanders,[4] a Kansas City, Missouri native; they have three sons: Max (b. 1998), Jake (b. 2000), and Zach (b. 2002).[8] They live in Paradise Valley, Arizona.

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.[8]

Sarver plays golf, tennis, and volleyball and enjoys going to California in his spare time.[citation needed]

References[edit]