Elizabeth Koehler

Advisers are in a better position than doctors to understand client cognitive ability, according to the BlackRock’s adviser engagement head in the US.

Speaking on Thursday morning at the BlackRock Wealth Symposium in Sydney, BlackRock US Wealth Advisory head of advisor engagement Elizabeth Koehler said a key part of the value advisers can provide is addressing the risks of aging.

“I know this is difficult and emotionally charged but the reality is that there is a lot of research out there that shows advisers are actually in a better position than doctors to understand the mental acuity of your client,” Koehler said.

“That means often times you are on the front lines if things start to change with cognitive capacity.”

She outlined this as part of what matters more to clients and the value of thinking outside of their investment portfolio.

“I know that’s not easy, but it’s so important to the family you serve, and it can create such gratitude with those families if you have a plan in place ahead of time to understand their wishes, what they want to do, who you can talk to and just be on the frontlines of cognitive capacity,” Koehler said.

Koehler’s work in the US specialised in different areas on practice management for advisers, whether its best practice, client services, end-client resources or behavioural finance, to list of few examples of her scope.

On the practice management side, Koehler said there are outside-of-the-box ways advisers are finding referral networks or finding other professionals for expertise.

“We talk of experts and partners and immediately people think CPAs and attorneys, which is great and they are critical partners and always will be, but more and more we’re seeing advisers reach out to additional experts,” Koehler said.

“It could be long-term care consultants, home maintenance providers, for the next generation who tend to be even more entrepreneurial they have website designers or business consultants, even interior designers.”