The founder of First Mariner Bancorp (FMAR) is getting ready to go another round in the Baltimore business world.

Ed Hale, who was chairman and chief executive of the $1.3 billion-asset First Mariner for nearly 16 years before retiring in 2011, has taken an equity stake in Think Systems, a Baltimore consulting firm specializing in technology and project management. Hale will serve as an advisor and sit on its board, Think Systems announced this week.

"As we contemplated growth, we recognized that we needed Ed Hale, a local legend and bare-knuckler himself, to keep us grounded and true to our model," Tony Gruebl, Think Systems' founder and president, said in a news release. "He believes what we believe about how to do business the right way, honestly and transparently. We are very fortunate that he's taken an interest in Think."

Hale led First Mariner from its founding in 1995 through December 2011. He's also the owner of the Baltimore Blast, an indoor soccer team that plays its home games in the First Mariner Arena, appropriately enough, in downtown Baltimore.

Hale praised Think Systems' "dynamic leadership, vision for growth, and honest approach to selling and delivering" in the release.