Ex-BlackRock technology manager eyes smaller firms in new fund

LONDON, Dec 12 (Reuters) - A former technology portfolio manager at BlackRock, William de Gale, will launch a fund with Swiss-based BlueBox Wealth Management with a focus on smaller, less prominent firms.

De Gale was one of the best-performing technology fund managers in the world when he left BlackRock in May after nine years in charge of the BGF World Technology Fund, during which he returned more than 11.4 percent a year.

Apple and the so-called 'FANG' stocks Facebook , Amazon, Netflix and Google-parent Alphabet - have driven U.S. market gains this year, but de Gale said he would focus the new fund elsewhere.

"I have a bit of an aversion to the really big technology companies. To me, those are the companies that won the last round of disruption," he told Reuters.

Instead, he said he was aiming for "a list of the top-10 stocks where you recognise almost none of the names".

He said technology firms were expanding into new areas, such as a host of fintech firms that were challenging banks.

"You have fintech companies fighting it out to be the best fintech company," he said. "What I'm going to do is own the companies which supply all those fintechs with hardware, semi-conductors, software services and communications equipment."

He said the fund would focus on the next generation of computing that observed the world and acted without relying on human input, such as the technology used in autonomous driving.

BlueBox Chief Executive Luis Viveros told Reuters the fund aimed to launch before the end of the first quarter of 2018 with an initial $25 million in seed capital from about 10 investors, including some of BlueBox's clients.

The fund would target a further $75 million in assets from other professional investors before marketing to retail investors.

De Gale said the fund would target stocks with a minimum market capitalisation of $1 billion, investing in 30 to 40 firms and hold them an average of three to five years. (Reporting by Simon Jessop; Editing by Edmund Blair)