Peltz, the manager of $12.5 billion Trian Partners, took on P&G over the summer, seeking a board seat after the company rejected his request to be added to the board. CalSTRS, the California State Teachers’ Retirement System, came out in support of Peltz last month.

CalSTRS holds close to 5.6 million shares of P&G stock valued at approximately $508 million. The large pension fund has been an investor with Trian since April 2011.

Sheehan said that CalSTRS supports a number of activists.

“They play a positive role in the capital markets. They help generate enhanced shareholder return for us.”

P&G acknowledged the narrow margin of votes in a statement on Wednesday, saying the results are preliminary and subject to a review and challenge period.

— CNBC’s Liz Moyer contributed to this report.

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