Hercules Capital CEO Steps Down After Charge in College Admissions Scheme

Hercules Capital CEO Manuel Henriquez has voluntarily stepped aside as the firm’s chairman and CEO.

According to Bloomberg, the news comes in the wake of Henriquez’s indictment by federal authorities, a result of his alleged involvement in the wide-ranging college admissions cheating scandal that has now encompassed at least fifty people and eight elite universities.

Bloomberg said an FBI statement asserted Henriquez and his wife had allegedly paid for phony proctors to help their daughters cheat on standardized tests. They also allegedly arranged to bribe the head tennis coach at Georgetown University to designate their older daughter as a recruited athlete.

In the meantime, the Hercules board has elected Robert P. Badavas, currently lead independent director, to be interim chairman and Scott Bluestein, the company’s chief investment officer, to be interim CEO. Henriquez will continue as a member of the board and an adviser to the company.

“The company has a strong and deep management and investment team and a preeminent position as a provider of financing for innovative, venture backed companies,” said Badavas. “We are fortunate that Hercules has Scott, who leads our investment and origination team and was previously our chief credit officer, to assume the role of interim chief executive officer. Scott has deep knowledge of our investments and has played a key role in defining our underwriting strategies. We are confident that our market leading role in providing financial solutions to innovators and their venture capital partners will continue uninterrupted.”

Bluestein has nearly 20 years of financial services, direct investment and credit experience. He joined Hercules in 2010 as chief credit officer and was appointed chief investment officer in 2014. Before joining Hercules, Bluestein was founder and partner of Century Tree Capital Management, a fund established to make senior secured debt investments with warrants and equity co-investments in small and micro-cap public and private companies.

Badavas has been an independent director of Hercules for 13 years.

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