Former BlackRock fund manager Mark Lyttleton has pleaded guilty to two counts of insider trading, as part of an investigation that began in 2013.
Lyttleton (pictured), who ran a number of UK equity funds at BlackRock, was arrested in 2013 on suspicion of insider trading, after resigning from his role in March that year.
He pleaded guilty to the two counts of insider trading related to equity trades and a call option at a London court on 2 November. He is due to be sentenced on 21 December.
Lyttleton admitted he was able to discover inside information during his role on the fundamental equity team at BlackRock, by working on the deals related to these stocks or being party to conversations conducted by colleagues.
The two stocks concerned are EnCore Oil (between 1 October 2011 and 13 October 2011) and Cairn Energy (between 4 November 2011 and 17 December 2011).
The former managers used the inside information to trade the companies' shares a short time before any public announcements were made, conducting this through an overseas asset manager trading on behalf of a Panamanian registered company.
Reports at the time of his arrest revealed the manager was detained by the City of London Police on 30 April 2013 as part of a market abuse probe launched by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
The FCA originally charged the former manager with three counts of insider dealing relating to trading in equities and a call option between 2 October and 16 December 2011. The regulator said the offence is punishable by a fine or up to seven years imprisonment.
Lyttleton left the business in 2013 after more than a decade of running money, including such portfolios as the BlackRock UK, UK Dynamic, and UK Absolute Alpha funds.
The funds saw strong returns at the beginning of his tenure, but the performance of all three vehicles took a downturn in his latter years as manager.
In a statement issued to Investment Week following his arrest, BlackRock said: "On Tuesday 30 April, an individual, who previously worked at BlackRock, was arrested by the City of London Police on suspicion of insider dealing.
"The FCA has informed us that the allegations relate to actions carried out for personal gain, while off our premises, and that neither BlackRock, nor any other employee, is under investigation.
"There is no suggestion that there has been any impact to any of BlackRock's clients. The alleged behaviour is totally contrary to the firm's principles and values.
"BlackRock strongly supports aggressive enforcement of the law in these matters. The firm has been aiding and will continue to aid the authorities with their investigations."