Michael McDonald and Chaka Khan, two beloved artists from two very different corners of the music spectrum, will team up for a co-headlining tour this summer.While their music differs greatly, the soft rock mainstay and the funk songstress have notably collaborated in the past, when McDonald joined Khan for a rendition of The Doobie Brothers classic “You Belong To Me” for her 2007 album, Funk This.Chaka Khan ft. Michael McDonald – “You Belong To Me”[Video: Sasa top]The 18-date Michael McDonald and Chaka Khan tour will begin on June 20th at Rose Music Center at The Heights in Huber Heights, OH, and continues its way to prominent theaters, amphitheaters, and more throughout June, July, and August. Following the Huber Heights show, Khan and McDonald will make their way to Canandaigua, NY’s Constellation Brands Marvin Sands Performing Arts Center (better known as CMAC) on June 22nd; Mashantucket, CT’s Foxwoods Resort Casino on June 23rd; Bethlehem, PA’s Sands Bethlehem Event Center on June 25th; Westbury, NY’s NYCB Theatre on June 28th; and Atlantic City, NJ’s Tropicana Atlantic City on June 29th.Related: Chaka Khan Announces First New Album In 12 Years, Shares Music Video For Title Track From there, Khan and McDonald will hit Columbus, OH’s City of Dublin Independence Day Celebration on the Fourth of July, followed by stops at Highland Park, IL’s Ravinia Festival on July 6th and Prior Lake, MN’s Mystic Lake Casino Hotel on July 7th.After diverting from Chaka Khan for an “evening with” performance in San Antonio on July 10th, the former Doobie Brother will rejoin forces with Khan for shows at The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavillion in The Woodlands, TX (7/12) and The Pavilion at Toyota Music Factory in Dallas, TX (7/13).Following two more McDonald-only Colorado dates that week, Khan and McDonald will rendezvous once again for performances at Airway Heights, WA’s Northern Quest Resort & Casion (7/23); Reno, NV’s Grand Sierra Resort & Casino (7/27); Portland, OR’s Oregon Zoo Amphitheater (7/28); Saratoga, CA’s The Mountain Winery (7/30); Los Angeles, CA’s Hollywood Bowl (7/31); and Costa Mesa, CA’s OC Fair at Pacific Amphitheatre (8/2). Finally, after McDonald diverts for a solo gig at Ojai, CA’s Libbey Bowl on August 3rd, the joint tour will wrap with a performance at Rohnert Park, CA’s Green Music Center on August 4th.Tickets for select dates go on sale this Friday, February 8th. Fans can head to Michael McDonald’s website here, or Chaka Khan’s website here for ticketing options and more information on the upcoming tour dates.
Nordea’s life and pensions business saw profits surge 52% in the third quarter, as unit-link product volumes grew and traditional with-profits products shrank.Operating profit for the division of the Nordic and Baltic banking group rose 52% to €76m in the three months to the end of September from €50m reported for the same period last year. Profit was 17% from the second quarter.Assets under management climbed 6% over the last 12 months, rising to €52.1bn by the end of September from €49.3bn.Nordea said unit-link, or market return, and risk products accounted for 84% of total gross written premiums in its life and pensions division in the third quarter – 9 percentage points more than in third quarter of last year. The strong net inflow into market-return products continued in the third quarter, rising by €800m, while a net €100m flowed out of traditional products, the group said.The profit contribution from market return or unit-link products climbed by €10m or 33% from the third quarter of last year.Meanwhile, Swedish pensions provider AMF reported an investment return of 5.9% from January to September, with results supported by strong equities growth in the third quarter.The return is just less than the 6.1% produced in the same period last year.Peder Hasslev, deputy managing director and head of investment at AMF, said: “The last quarter was marked by continued strong development on global equity markets.”The company’s managing director Johan Sidenmark said AMF’s focus was on continuing improvement for its savers and to reduce costs where possible.Overall group profit climbed to SEK43.5bn (€4.97bn) from SEK15.2bn, helped by the changes in the discount rate used to calculate liabilities.This change alone contributed SEK19.9bn to the result in the period.Premium income rose to SEK15.8bn from SEK15.2bn, and the solvency ratio increased to 221% from 183%.Assets under management grew to SEK436bn from SEK399bn.In other results news, Finland’s Varma produced a 6.1% return in the first nine months of this year compared with 5.7% in the same period last year.All asset classes gave positive returns, while assets under management rose to €36.9bn.Varma’s president and chief executive Matti Vuoria said: “Despite the economic uncertainty, Varma recorded a strong result for the financial period, and the return trend was at a good level.”Equities produced the highest returns, returning 14.9% in the nine-month period, up from 10.8% last year.Within this, unlisted equities returned 19.9%.Fixed income investments gave a return of just 0.8%, down from 3.5%, Varma said, noting it had reduced the share of these assets in its portfolio during the year.Meanwhile, Finland’s Veritas saw a drop in returns from last year, producing 4.7% on investments between January and September compared with 8% last year.Finnish equities produced a 23.3% return in the period.Niina Bergring, investment director at Veritas, said: “Of all asset classes, equities gave the best return, at 11.7%.”She forecast the stock market upturn would continue for the last few months.“The growth cycle is now back on track, and liquidity is supporting risk taking,” she said. “Stimulus measures will continue in both Europe and the US, and this is creating confidence in the market,” she said.Veritas’ return on its fixed income investments dropped to 0.1% from 8.6%.The company’s asset mix has shifted in the last 12 months towards equities and property.Fixed income investments shrank to 44.3% of the portfolio at the end of September from 52.3%, while equities expanded to 35.5% from 28.7% and property grew to 18.2% from 16.1%.Lastly, 13 pensions and investment firms have formally applied to provide pensions within Sweden’s SAF-LO occupational pension system for blue-collar workers, according to Fora, the company administering the system.Providers applying to offer traditional insurance products are Alecta, AMF and Folksam Liv, Fora said.Those applying to offer unit-linked pensions are AMF, Danica Pension, Folksam-LO fondförsäkring, Handelsbanken Liv, Länsförsäkringar Fondliv, Movestic Liv & Pension, Nordea Liv & Pension, SEB Trygg Liv, SPP Liv Fond and Swedbank Insurance.The pension board, which comprises representatives from the Swedish Trade Union Confederation (LO) and the Confederation of Swedish Enterprise (Svenskt Näringsliv), will now evaluate the applications.According to the conditions for inclusion in the system, pension products must offer savers a high pension with low charges in a financially stable insurance company, Fora said.Products from the new list of providers will be available in the SAF-LO system from 2014.The approval process is expected to be completed by the end of November.
MATTHEW KUTZ/Herald photoThe Badgers’ high-flying offense, No. 1 in the Big Ten in scoring, will test the conference’s best defense when it takes on the Penn State Nittany Lions this Saturday.Led by running back and Heisman candidate Brian Calhoun, who leads the nation with 21 rushing touchdowns and is fifth in all-purpose yards, the Badgers look to tame the Lions.With matching records in the Big Ten (5-1) and overall (8-1), the Badgers and Nittany Lions find themselves fighting for a chance to rise to the top of the conference standings all alone. Penn State, with versatile quarterback Michael Robinson, has the athleticism and quickness that could cause headaches for a slower, less experienced Badger defense.”These guys bring just a more comprehensive look of speed from sideline to sideline,” defensive coordinator Bret Bielema said. “There’s also some nuances and you know [Michael Robinson] probably runs the quarterback draw better than everybody we’ve seen to this point. Obviously he can run the football, but also, he’s developed his throwing skills — he has a very strong arm and can throw the ball very effectively on the move to one of his four or five wide receivers who can change the ballgame in one play.”While his defense hasn’t performed as well as he had hoped, Bielema credits his unit for never giving up.”We’ve given up a lot more yards than I ever anticipated or wanted to, and same thing with points, but the bottom line is, I think we’ve been able to have guys that compete on every play,” Bielema said. “They haven’t given up at any given time, and I don’t expect that to happen anytime in the future.”Defensively, Wisconsin has been banged up, and although they’re not making leaps and bounds in returning guys from injury, they’re gradually getting key players back. Middle linebacker Mark Zalewski is practicing again and expected to play on Saturday after having missed last week’s game.”[Zalewski] looks pretty good,” said Bielema. “I think he’ll be 100 percent.”As for Robinson, at a solid 6-foot-2 and 217 pounds, he not only likes to make the big plays but is willing to take the big hits as well.”[Robinson] is a strong one,” Bielema said. “He made some people look silly out there on just his ability to lower his shoulder. He’s another running back out there and he isn’t going to run out of bounds, he’s not going to look to take a knee or a slide or anything like that — he likes to get as much as he can out of every opportunity he has.”As it is, Robinson has gotten plenty of opportunities and no matter where his coaches put him he has been successful. Last year he played at tailback, took snaps under center as the quarterback and even slotted up as a receiver.His versatility can hurt a team in many ways — like throwing to one of his big receivers or tucking the ball in and running for a big gain. He definitely can do it all. Cumulatively, he has 23 touchdowns, including 10 on the ground to go along with 570 yards and 13 via the air as he has accumulated 1754 yards passing.”Robinson makes the whole click,” Bielema said. “He makes the wide receivers good, the running backs good, but pieces it all together, and he’s the guy that comes through for them.”On the offensive side, the Badgers will try to wear down the Nittany Lions’ front seven by giving the ball to their workhorse, Brian Calhoun. Although this front seven is good at nullifying the run, holding explosive Lawrence Marhoney of Minnesota to just 48 yards on 16 carries, Calhoun can still come out of the backfield and be very effective on screens.But the ingredient to success for the Badgers is ball control.”It’s a time-management game,” said Bielema. “Coach Alvarez is a big believer in time of possession.”While that may be a challenge against the top defense and against the explosiveness of Michael Robinson and the Nittany Lion offense, the Badgers will have to contend with the fans as well. Beaver Stadium is the second-largest stadium in the nation and with a Big Ten title on the line, they’ll be that much hungrier.But Bielema stressed that he and the players are not too concerned about the fans or the monumental weight of this game and will just stick to the game plan, hopefully coming out on top.”I don’t think our guys are going to get caught up in anything other than trying to be 1-0 this week,” Bielema said.