Executive board members at companies included in the DAX index of the 30 largest German firms made an average of €2.92 million ($4.29 million) in 2007, a 7.75 percent increase over the previous year, according to the survey by investors' association DSW.
Deutsche Bank chief Josef Ackermann once again topped the list with €13.98 million in pay. The worst-paid DAX manager was Wolfgang Klein of Postbank with €1.531 million.
DSW said its survey showed "with few exceptions, no evidence" for claims by German politicians that the country's CEOs are overpaid, however. The association did not recommend tightening regulatory laws on executive compensation.
The survey also found significant pay increases among managers in the MDAX index of 50 mid-size German companies, where executive board members last year made an average of €1.48 million, an increase of 8.34 percent over the previous year.
Puma chief Jochen Zeitz earned the most among the mid-size company managers, with a salary of €7.2 million.
Executive base pay in Germany last year topped that in France, where managers made an average of €2.3 million, Switzerland, where pay averaged €2.99 million and the United States, where base pay averaged €3.03 million.
However, stock options pushed full executive compensation in Switzerland and the US far above German levels. The top earning CEO in the US Dow Jones index, George David of United Technologies, made €27.8 million once stock options were included.