1961 (age 56–57)|
Tucson, Arizona, US
|Education||Sabino High School|
|Alma mater||University of Arizona|
Real estate developer
Owner of Phoenix Suns|
Owner of RCD Mallorca
President of Western Alliance Bancorporation
Owner of Southwest Value Partners
|Net worth||US$400 million (2016)|
|Parent(s)||Irene and Jack Sarver|
Early life and education
Sarver was born in Tucson to Irene and Jack Sarver. 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, 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. At age 16, he went to work for his father's company, American Savings and Loan. 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. In 1983, Sarver became a certified public accountant.
In 1984, Sarver founded the National Bank of Tucson (which he expanded statewide and change the name to the National Bank of Arizona). In 1994, he sold the National Bank of Arizona, then the largest independent bank in the state, to Zions Bancorporation. In 1995, he acquired Grossmont Bank, one of San Diego's largest community banks. Grossmont was also sold to Zions Bancorporation in 1997. In 1998, Sarver led Zions Bancorporation's acquisition of Sumitomo Bank of California. In 2003, he became chairman, president, and CEO of Western Alliance Bancorporation.
Real estate development
In 1990, he co-founded the real estate company Southwest Value Partners with Millard Seldin. In 1995, Southwest Value Partners purchased the Emerald Plaza in San Diego. 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.
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.
In October 2016, Sarver was ranked as the worst owner in the NBA by ESPN.
In January 2015, Sarver offered £20 million for control of Scottish football side Rangers Football Club, having 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 is 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 working on heart disease.
- "Wandering Jews: Former Tucsonans thrive in new locales – Robert Sarver". Arizona Jewish Post. September 15, 2011. Retrieved November 30, 2017.
- Arizona Daily Star article on the former Plaza International Hotel, built by Robert Sarver's father[dead link]
- Sarver Heart Center bio on Robert Sarver Archived 2008-08-21 at the Wayback Machine.
- Rivera, Steve (April 23, 2005). "Having a Blast". Tucson Citizen. Retrieved November 30, 2017.
- Campbell, Joel (July 8, 1997). "Zions to add San Diego bank and Oakland finance firm". Deseret News. Retrieved November 30, 2017.
- Wiles, Russ (April 6, 2011). "Suns' Sarver is first and foremost a banker". The Arizona Republic. Retrieved November 30, 2017.
- Southwest Value Partners: "Three Downtown Towers are Sold for $274 Million" June 17, 2004. Retrieved November 30, 2017.
- Hanna-Riggs, Scott (October 20, 2016). "Phoenix Suns Franchise, Owner Robert Sarver Voted Worst in NBA". valleyofthesuns.com. Retrieved November 30, 2017.
- University of Arizona Sarver Heart Center: "The Sarver Family" Retrieved November 30, 2017.