A former credit analyst has pleaded guilty to misusing confidential information about 2 major life insurance acquisitions.[@@]

The former analyst, Rick Marano, entered his plea today in the U.S. District Court in New York.

Investigators at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission have accused Marano of using preliminary information about the acquisition of ReliaStar Financial Corp., Minneapolis, by ING Groep N.V., Amsterdam, and of American General Corp., Houston, by American International Group Inc., New York, to obtain $1.1 million in illegal investment profits for himself, his brother and a family friend.

Marano learned about the deal information while working as a senior analyst in the life group at Standard & Poor’s, New York. Standard & Poor’s fired him in 2001, after it learned he had violated its code of ethics.

Federal prosecutors charged Marano and the others with conspiracy and securities fraud.

Marano has not yet been sentenced.