Wellington Management Company PartnersBoston, MassachusettsSeptember 9, 1971
DELIVERANCE is an extraordinary novel by James Dickey. On the surface, it is an adventure story—telling of four men on a canoe trip in an isolated area, running rapids that are soon to be flooded and forgotten. It tells us something of what it is like not to know what natural dangers or man-made perils, not to know what excitement, may lie at the next turn, not to know how a risky and adventurous trip will end—for four individuals, not all of whom, as it turns out, are equipped to be adventurers. But, much more than this, its theme is the role of danger and stress on the individual, and how deliverance from peril can help us find self-realization and liberation.
The relevance of deliverance to our meeting today goes far beyond the fact that one of the four principals who undertake this canoe trip is a mutual fund salesman. It goes to the fact (I hope I am not overdramatizing this) that in the money management profession all of us—surely I am much as you—are at this very moment rushing down a river whose course is exciting, if not wholly known; navigating a canoe that is solidly seaworthy, if not entirely stable; operating in an environment that has precious little predictability, a certain sense of mystery, and an aura of danger ahead. Our ability to deal with the money management world we live in today will depend, I think, on the skills and abilities and energies each of us bring to this ...