Original: November 21, 2021
Revised: May 2024

Robert “Bobby” Beale, CFA, CAIA, LASERS Chief Investment Officer

Bobby Beale joined the Investment Division staff at LASERS in May 1997. He is one of the longest-serving chief investment officers in LASERS history with more than 24 years on the job. His success is unmatched, with LASERS total market value of assets growing from $4 billion at the beginning of his employment to $14.7 billion today.

Beale’s talents are reflected in LASERS 35.6 percent investment return for the 12-month period that ended June 30, 2021, the highest return in our history, and one of the best nationwide among large public pension systems.

During Beale’s tenure, there have been major challenges to overcome. He commented that big market negative events such as the 2001 Tech Bubble in the 9/11 era, the 2008 Financial Crisis, and the COVID-19 pandemic last year are all very difficult situations. “They are both different and the same in a way,” he explained. “One benefit of being a long-term investor is that you can find opportunities when these events happen. Being patient, not reactive, but also making adjustments where warranted is key.”

With more than 30 years of investment experience, Beale has received attention on the national level with his success at LASERS:

  • In 2023, Pensions & Investments recognized LASERS as the top performer among 65 U.S. public pension funds with assets greater than $1 billion tracked by the magazine.
  • In 2017, Pensions & Investments magazine recognized LASERS as one of the best one-year net returns, which Beale attributed to public equity, particularly international and emerging markets.
  • Top 1000 Funds, a news and analysis site for the world’s largest institutional investors, profiled LASERS in 2017 as one of the best performers among U.S. public pension funds, and interviewed Beale regarding LASERS investment strategies.
  • In 2016, Trusted Insight magazine highlighted him in the top 30 list of pension chief investment officers whose portfolios outperformed peers.

Investment income is the main source of revenue for benefits paid to our members and their beneficiaries. Beale and his staff understand their responsibility to the tens of thousands of members who depend on their expertise in providing for their retirement.

He commented, “The value of LASERS rests with the staff everywhere in the agency because they care about our members and what we do here.”