The economy in Arizona is steadily recovering and banks have increased lending to businesses. The past four years have been tough for big and small business alike, and there is no question that financial institutions have been tested through what has been the worst economic cycle since the Great Depression. Banks that have had access to capital and were proactive navigating through these tough times are today prospering. A good banking partner is an important piece for a successful business.
Alliance Bank and our holding company, Western Alliance Bancorporation, have deep roots in Arizona. Many of our senior management, myself included, are native Arizonans and have worked with businesses through the highs and lows of past economic cycles. We do our best to offer consistency and predictability to our customers. When we began Alliance Bank in 2003, our mission was to serve Arizona businesses as a trusted and consistent banking resource. We have kept that commitment as an active lender to businesses through the hard years as well as the good ones. Today, we are Arizona’s largest locally headquartered banking company with assets of more than $7 billion. Over the last 12 months, we have generated more than a billion dollars in new loans to businesses while also maintaining strong asset quality metrics. We have worked hard to fill a needed void in credit during these lean years.
A healthy banking sector remains a prerequisite to a healthy economic climate because commercial banks are the most reliable source of expansion capital for business growth. The major impact on banking coming out of the financial crisis will be capital requirements higher by as much as one-third. What this means is, for banks to survive and prosper, they will have to be significantly more efficient. In the long run, investors will be unwilling to put up higher capital without the prospect of higher returns. Look for this reality to drive significant consolidation in banks over the next decade.
This issue’s cover story explores the changing financial landscape that banks and clients are navigating. Industry leaders discuss how they are addressing the need to encourage commerce and continue banking’s role in supporting it.
In another industry focus, writer Glenn Swain looks into the broad economic impact of golf, the Valley’s famous recreational sport. In this issue’s “Legal” feature, attorneys Dan Waite and Jon Weiss of Lewis and Roca, L.L.C. describe how carelessly considered e-mail can put a business in an unexpected contract situation. Tips on how businesses can maintain positive and productive relationships among their employees is the focus of Ron Kaufman’s HR article. And in the first of a three-part “Business Education” series, B2B CFO executive Dennis Niven discusses the crucial whys and hows of managing a company’s working capital.
Also in this issue are two special sections: “Business Safety,” which covers many aspects of the crucial topic of workman’s compensation, and the annual In Business Magazine “Business Lending Guide” for 2013.
With its informative articles on business and relevant coverage of our Metro Phoenix business community, In Business Magazine is a powerful tool for the entrepreneur and corporate exec alike.
Chairman and CEO
Western Alliance Bancorporation
Robert Sarver is chairman and CEO of Western Alliance Bancorporation, a $7 billion bank holding company doing business in Arizona, California and Nevada. Sarver has been the managing partner of the Phoenix Suns for the last nine years, and during his tenure the team has produced the third-best winning percentage in the NBA. Sarver also serves on the boards of directors of SkyWest Airlines, Meritage Corporation, the NBA, the Weil Foundation and the Sarver Heart Center at the University of Arizona.