Legal vs. professional name

I am getting married next year, and after a lot of thinking, I’d like to take my fiance’s last name - either hyphenated with my own or without my maiden name. If I go the second route, I would like to continue to use my maiden name professionally, and use my (new) legal name elsewhere.

I’ve only completed level 1 of the CFA, and know that I would need to use my legal name for my account and for the charter itself. However, what concerns me is whether, after having received the charter, whether I could call myself “[First name] [Maiden Name], CFA” or whether I would have to call myself “[First name] [Married name], CFA”, as this would be the name under which I took the CFA.

Any experience anyone has regarding legal names and CFA would be greatly appreciated!

Sounds like a good question for CFA Institute (

Let us know what they say.

You should probably take S2000 advice in this matter as CFA questions and warheads are two areas I concede he knows more about than I do. However, that said, I don’t think you’d be in violation. Your name doesn’t matter. Once you’ve earned the Charter, you could call yourself whatever you want, CFA. Think about all the people named William or Jonathan that go by another first name. Or, in your case specifically, there must be thousands of Charterholders that change their last name due to marriage or divorce every year. Unless the CFAI can monetize this opportunity, I seriously doubt they care.

Btw, I think it’s great that you’re taking your wife’s last name.

It would be advisable to hae the name on your passport and the name on the charter to be the same. If you change your name in the passport, t would be advisable to inform the CFA Institute of the change so that you may get it printed correctly on your charter.

Confirmed: your charter has to be in your legal name, but you can call yourself [AnyName], CFA, provided that [AnyName] is something that you are known as.

Doesn’t that contradict the prohibited use of aliases like MyForumName, CFA? Technically it is something you are known as…

You’re misunderstanding the prohibition of aliases.