Press Release – 20/07/2021
It is with great regret to announce the passing of Joy Zhu, Director of International Commercial Services for CIT Group, USA and member of the FCI Executive Committee. Joy passed away peacefully at her home in Atlanta last Wednesday 14th July with her family by her side following a long battle with cancer.
Joy led a rich life and career. Born in Beijing, China on August 30, 1963, where she was also raised and educated, Joy graduated from the famous Beijing University in 1985, rebranded as the Capital University of Economics and Business, a prestigious and premier business school in China. Joy relocated to the US to earn her MBA from Georgia State University in Atlanta in 1993. Joy returned to China to work at Continental Grain in their poultry division, before returning back to the US to begin her factoring career with Bank of America’s factoring company. She later joined SunTrust Bank in 2000, running the international factoring operations there. SunTrust factoring unit would be later sold to CIT in 2005, and she was promoted to Director of International Factoring with CIT in 2012. Joy served on the FCI Education Committee for over a decade between 2006 and 2015, and also was promoted as Chairman of the Education Committee in 2013. Joy was elected to the FCI Executive Committee in 2015 during the FCI Annual Meeting in Singapore.
Joy was diligent, dedicated and beloved by her team, by her fellow colleagues on the FCI Executive Committee, by the staff of the FCI Secretariat, and her family of factoring friends globally. With over 30 years of experience, Joy helped members around the world become educated on the benefits of receivables finance in general, and international factoring in particular, especially in her native China.
Mr Patrick de Villepin, President, BNP Factoring Group and FCI Chairman stated “As all of you, I am astonished and completely shocked by this terrible news. We knew Joy was at the hospital during our last Executive Committee meeting held on the 6th of July. Until the end, Joy remained committed to her work and to our association. What courage, what an example! FCI is in mourning. On behalf of the FCI Family, please express our sincere and deepest condolences to Joy’s family.”
Ms Sun Jianbo, General Manager, China Construction Bank and Vice Chairman, FCI Executive Committee stated “I and all the Chinese members were shocked to hear this sad news...more than 200 people are mourning her in the Chinese Factoring WeChat group. This is a big loss for FCI, for the industry and for her Chinese friends. We share a lot of memories with her, her image as an explorer and a warrior in factoring will always be with us. Also, she is a great contributor to China's factoring industry, and I believe she will keep impacting us with her tremendous legacy and achievements. Our thoughts and prayers are with her family.”
Ms Daniela Bonzanini, CEO Banca IFIS Poland and Romania and International Manager, Banca IFIS Italy, FCI Vice Chairman of the FCI Executive Committee and Chairman of the Education Committee stated “I spoke to Joy a week before our Executive Committee meeting last week, I was very impressed she attended our board meeting under such circumstances, a true testament to her commitment to FCI. I am deeply shocked. I have known Joy for many years, we cooperated as correspondents and we worked together in the Education Committee and in the Executive Committee. I always appreciated her contribution and loyalty to FCI. I will miss her. Over the years I had the opportunity to know her husband and daughters, a very nice and gentle family. May she rest in peace.”
Mr Jeroen Kohnstamm, previous FCI Secretary-General, Amsterdam stated: “What sad news! I was aware that Joy had health problems, but I did not know how serious the situation was. She was a remarkable woman and we always had very friendly relations, in particular during the FCI Annual Meetings when very often she would attend together with her husband and two adorable daughters.”
Mr Marc Heller, President, CIT Commercial Services US stated “Joy persevered and led the international factoring team even during the most challenging of times. Joy’s tenacity was not only evident in business, but also in the way she battled for her life. We will miss her more than words can express. Our prayers go out to Joy’s support system, her husband Min Zhang, and her two daughters, Mimi Zhang and Lily Zhang. Please keep them in your thoughts as they go through this difficult period.”
On a personal note, I had the opportunity to work with Joy for nearly two decades in the US at SunTrust Bank, CIT Commercial Services and also in her role as a member of the FCI Executive Committee. Joy was both a friend, a confidante and a person with whom everyone could rely on. For me, Joy represented the greatest attributes you could find in a person: compassionate, smart, determined, resilient, and accepting of others, a true global citizen. Joy was a class act, a person of character, and I was always amazed at her tenacity and perseverance, even until the very end. Joy cherished her time in FCI and was so loyal to our association, to her friends and colleagues everywhere. She will be severely missed.
Should you want to send personal condolences to the Zhang family, the address is:
1012 Laurel Grove Court
Suwanee, Georgia USA 30024
The Zhang family will be holding a memorial service on Saturday, 24th July. Please visit and share this website with those who knew her: Memorial Announcement Joy Zhu Obituary
The Zhang family would be delighted to welcome Joy’s friends and colleagues from around the world to attend the memorial service to be held in Atlanta, Georgia, however understanding the travel challenges this may impose, and due as well to the current pandemic environment, alternatively, they ask if you can share a memory on Joy’s tribute wall.