My name is Joyce Meng and I am passionate about impact investing and social entrepreneurship. I am the CEO/Co-Founder of Givology, a 100% volunteer-run online giving marketplace for education, and CEO/Founder of FACT Capital, which seeks to fundamentally innovate and change existing fund models to become more investor-centric.
I graduated from the Huntsman Program of International Studies and Business at the University of Pennsylvania and then went to Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar. There, I pursued two courses of study – the MSc Economics for Development and the MSc in Financial Economics. Since then, I’ve been living in NYC. For my work, I was featured in Forbes 30 under 30 in Education and Wharton 40 under 40. My hobbies are reading (I get through at least a book per week), writing, and traveling.
Private Sector Experience
For the last decade, I’ve pursued a career in investing, utilizing a fundamentals-driven approach. I started at Goldman Sachs Investment Partners on the global industrials team. Afterward, I joined the MSD Capital energy team, investing across the value chain in areas such as MLPs/midstream, shale E&P, chemicals, and related industrials/infrastructure companies. From there, I joined my former colleagues at Goldman Sachs to launch Vernier Capital, a global consumer-facing long/short equity fund. At Vernier, I invested across opportunities in global healthcare, consumer, technology, and select financials/industrials. As global generalists, we had the flexibility to be highly selective and only invest in sectors and companies which have sustainable moats and longevity to growth. With accelerating technological change, I studied both the disrupted and the disruptors, and constantly challenged and questioned my assumptions.
However, in studying disruptors, I realized that my own industry had to change. The hedge fund industry itself has reached a point of maturity, and after disappointing industry performance, many legacy elements ought to be re-considered from a first principles perspective. The FACT model includes radical transparency of research, embedded structural alignment between principal and agent, technology to customize exposure to client-specific needs, and substantially lowered fees to drive better net returns to clients. Mission-driven companies have a competitive advantage in inspiring talent and not losing focus on the underlying objective.
For me, investing is a calling because I can think of no other vocation which brings together the confluence of quantitative data analysis, qualitative investigation, interpretation of the broader fluid socioeconomic/political framework, and constant learning. In particular, I enjoy looking at international and emerging markets opportunities because of the dynamism, growth, and rapid change.
Public Sector / Nonprofit Experience
Givology is my passion project – our mission is to connect donors to high-impact grassroots education projects and student scholarships. Since our founding in 2008, we’ve continued to grow and expand. I’ve dedicated a separate section for our work and mission, including our latest developments and campaigns.
International development is a keen area of interest of mine. In the past, I’ve done microfinance research for FINCA international in rural Mexico, worked as a consultant at the World Bank in the Private Sector Development Research Group, conducted research as a fellow at Opportunity International at Oxford and also for Fundacion Nantik Lum in Madrid, co-founded Youthbank (now Generation Enterprise) and led the initiative as the CFO during its initial phase. In my spare time, I still read avidly on the subject to learn as much as I can.
Hobbies / Core Beliefs:
In my spare time, I enjoy reading, writing, traveling, taking long walks, and learning new things. I played ice hockey from childhood throughout college, and intermittently play today in NYC when I can find the time.
When I think about my own fundamental truths, four things emerge: (1) in life, change is the only constant and in fixating on the past, one is left behind. (2) Hard work creates luck and opportunity. Coupled with enough persistence and flexibility to adapt and learn from failures, grit is the key element to success. (3) Utilizing the design thinking “bias to action” axiom can be immensely powerful. Ideas create change only through implementation. Dreams can be idle, but defining a path forward and executing on it is not. (4) Helping others and giving back as much as you can is the best way to live a happy life. Life is short – our legacy is the impact we create and the people we help.