Rugby United New New York Announces Bolton Equities Ltd. as Ownership Partners

Rugby United New York Release

NEW YORK (January 17, 2020) – Rugby United New York (RUNY), New York City’s first professional rugby franchise, announced today that team Founder James Kennedy and his partner Pierre Arnald have reached a partnership agreement under which Bolton Equities Ltd. will acquire an equal stake of the organization. Kennedy, an entrepreneur based out of New York City, founded Rugby United New York in 2018.

Bolton Equities Ltd. is a New Zealand-based private equity investment company led by founder and Chairman Murray Bolton. It holds a stake in a number of private companies in both New Zealand and Australia. The team’s experience includes previous involvement in the Auckland Blues’ Ownership group and governance roles at prestigious New Zealand rugby unions across Auckland and North Harbour.

James Kennedy, Founder, and CEO of Murphy Kennedy Group (MKG), spent the last three years leading both RUNY and MKG simultaneously. During this time, the organization joined Major League Rugby (MLR) and established itself as a title contender. Kennedy believes that Bolton Equities’ resources and sophistication can bring substantial value for RUNY commercially on a global scale.

Guy Bolton, Bolton Equities, will partner with James Kennedy at a strategic and governance level. With over 20 years of business development experience and a passion for rugby, he brings a wealth of knowledge to the organization. He will be charged with finding a Chief Executive Officer to lead the franchise as they enter a new phase.

“RUNY’s objective has always been to grow the game of rugby,” James Kennedy told us. “Bolton Equities has the experience and the resources to assist us in achieving that goal.” George Killebrew, MLR commissioner also added “The Bolton family are a perfect fit to join RUNY, and Major League Rugby, to continue the growth of rugby in New York. Bolton’s impressive business experience from New Zealand and Australia paired with their history in the rugby community make them terrific partners for 2020 and beyond. At the league, we couldn’t be more excited to work with the Bolton family moving forward and we’re eager to support this new chapter for RUNY.”

“We are looking to establish Rugby United New York as a premier brand within New York, the MLR and the global rugby community,” Guy Bolton continued. “James has done a tremendous job in the early stages of the franchise, laying a foundation we can build upon together. We are very excited and look forward to growing RUNY’s brand and continue to promote the club’s values.

Bolton Equities Ltd. joins an ownership group comprised of James Kennedy, an equal partner, as well as Pierre Arnald, who purchased a stake in the club in December of 2018.

About Rugby United New York

Rugby United New York is a professional rugby team who joined Major League Rugby as an associate member in 2018, playing a brief, but successful exhibition season. Their first full MLR schedule took place in 2019. RUNY’s vision is to bring the excitement of professional rugby to the New York sports landscape. The use of rugby’s core values of inclusion, teamwork, respect, and discipline will help to educate, inspire and connect with the New York Community. Rugby United New York, the city’s first professional rugby franchise, strives to unite the entire rugby community and enrich it at every level throughout the region. The team was founded by James Kennedy of the Murphy Kennedy Group, who is an active supporter of grassroots rugby.

About Major League Rugby

MLR is a professional rugby league that launched in April of 2018. It’s an initiative of the American rugby community, in partnership with private investors, who believe that American rugby can thrive at the highest levels: as a commercial enterprise; as an influential player on the international scene; and as a participation sport at the youth and senior level. MLR is the pinnacle of the American rugby, and provides a rallying point for local communities, a focal point for American rugby fans, and an aspirational destination for young athletes. For more information, visit

About Bolton Equities

Bolton Equities Ltd. Is a private equity investment company. It holds stakes in a number of private companies in New Zealand and Australia. Current holdings include but are not limited to Transaction Services Group, Corporate Cabs and CSX Systems.  The company was incorporated on March 26, 2007, and is headquartered in Auckland, New Zealand.  Bolton Equities currently has 4 directors and an active team.  Murray Bolton is the founder and Chairman.

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