We compete with a great number of institutions in the mortgage banking market for both the servicing and originations businesses as well as in our reverse mortgage servicing and complementary businesses. In the servicing area, we compete with other servicers to acquire MSR and for the right to subservice mortgages for others. Competitive factors in the servicing business include: a servicer’s scale of operations and financial strength; a servicer’s access to capital to fund acquisitions of MSR; a servicer’s ability to meet contractual and regulatory obligations and to achieve favorable performance (e.g., in default management activity) relative to other servicers; a servicer’s ability to provide a favorable experience for the borrower; a servicer's ability to recapture borrowers as they refinance; and a servicer’s cost to service or subservice.
In the mortgage originations area, we compete to refinance or provide new mortgages to borrowers whose mortgages are in our existing servicing portfolio. In this area, the price and variety of our mortgage products are important factors of competition, as is the reputation of our servicing business and the quality of the experience the borrower may have had with our servicing business. Since mid-2015, our loan originations and servicing businesses have operated under a single “Ditech” brand. We also compete, principally on the basis of price and process efficiency, to acquire mortgages from correspondent lenders. In the future, we expect we will also increasingly compete on the basis of brand awareness.
Across our servicing and originations businesses, technology is an important competitive factor. In particular, we believe it will be increasingly important to enable servicing and originations customers to access our services through our website and mobile devices. We face numerous competitors with greater financial resources, human resources and technology resources than ours, and there can be no assurance that we will be able to compete successfully.
Our businesses employ technology by using third-party systems where standardization and time to market is key and proprietary systems where functionality and flexibility are critical to regulatory compliance, customer experience and credit performance. The majority of our proprietary systems are supported by a team of information technology professionals who seek to protect our systems and ensure they are effective. In-house developed proprietary systems are leveraged for customer service, default management and reverse mortgage servicing.
On October 27, 2014, we signed a long-term Loan Servicing Agreement with Black Knight Financial Services, LLC for the use of MSP, a mortgage and consumer loan servicing platform. We also use our own proprietary systems for collections, customer service and default management. At December 31, 2018, we have approximately 85% of our mortgage loan servicing portfolio based on unpaid principal loan balance on MSP. Our private label loans, manufactured housing loans and second lien mortgage loans continue to be serviced on our proprietary systems.
For a listing of our subsidiaries, refer to Exhibit 21 of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.
We have undergone several changes in our senior leadership during 2018, including the following: effective April 18, 2018, Thomas F. Marano was appointed Chief Executive Officer and President of Ditech Holding, and serves as Chairman of the Board of Directors; and effective February 9, 2018, Jerry Lombardo was appointed Ditech Holding's Chief Financial Officer.
We employed approximately 2,900 full-time equivalent employees at December 31, 2018 as compared to approximately 3,800 at December 31, 2017, all of whom were located in the U.S. The decline in full-time equivalent employees was due primarily to distinct actions we took in 2018 in connection with our continued efforts to enhance efficiencies and streamline processes within the organization, which included various organizational changes to scale our leadership team and support functions to further align with our business needs. We believe we have been successful in our efforts to recruit and retain qualified employees. However, we experience significant turnover with respect to certain roles, and therefore maintain active and continuous new employee recruiting and training programs. None of our employees is a party to any collective bargaining agreements.
We outsource certain support functions that support our loan originations and servicing groups to third-party vendors located in the U.S. and offshore locations in an effort to improve efficiency and reduce cost. These support functions include loan set-up, escrow account set-up, default set-up, foreclosure monitoring, claims filing, post-close audits, indexing and imaging.