Financial advisors need to up their game when it comes to meeting increased client expectations, according to Cliff Kirsch, a partner in the Investment Services Group at Eversheds Sutherland, a law firm based in New York City.

Kirsch, who began his career at the SEC, where he was assistant director at the agency’s division of investment management, advises prominent U.S. dual-registrants with regard to the sale and distribution of investment products, compliance and supervisory procedures, and sales practice issues. He guides clients through SEC, Finra and state securities regulation and examination issues.

Investors and prospective clients are becoming more financially sophisticated and are demanding more from the advisors they work with or are considering hiring, Kirsch said in an interview.

“There is more understanding about financial issues today” than in the past, Kirsch said, “and communicating with clients and prospects is more important than ever.”

The pandemic has made the public more aware of their finances, at the same time that trust in advisors is sometimes been in doubt, he said.

“Clients need to understand the scope of their advisors’ fiduciary duties, the services they offer, the technology they use and their business continuation plans,” he said. “Advisors need to be able to explain these things to clients and they need to make sure what they are saying is appropriate in order to meet the increasing demands of their clients. Advisors should always be reassessing their communications to make sure it is effective and accurate.”

In addition, the Securities and Exchange Commission may be looking more closely at firms that received Paycheck Protection Program loans that were part of the federal pandemic stimulus package, the firm said.

“The more discussions advisors have with clients about these issues, the better it is for their relationships,” Kirsch added. Such action builds trust between advisors and the public, he said.

“I don’t know that there is going to be any increase in fraud because of the government stimulus programs” but it might bring increased scrutiny from the public, Kirsch said.