Magazine : Archives : 3rd Quarter 2019

Phoenix Rising

There are defining events in the lives of most companies and the people who run them, and for Western Alliance Bancorp. that experience was the collapse of the residential housing market in 2008. The bank was heavily exposed in Phoenix and Las Vegas—two of the hardest-hit markets in the country—and it ended up taking a $236 million loss for the year, nearly twice its combined profits of the previous five years. The bank’s leadership team was already worried about a softening real estate market before before the housing bubble burst. Robert Sarver, who was Western Alliance’s chairman and chief executive...