Money manager consultant Eager & Associates has launched a mergers and acquisitions group in a joint venture with investment banker J.J.B. Hilliard, W.L. Lyons. The venture will help both buyers and sellers reach deals that make a good strategic fit, said Glenn B. Davis, a principal at Eager & Associates. Eager will develop the relationships that lead to the deals; Hilliard will help with valuation analysis, negotiations and deal structure. The joint venture already has signed on one client, a prospective buyer seeking to acquire a money manager, Mr. Davis said. He would not identify the firm.