A study by the DSW, Germany's biggest association for private investors, showed the increase in 2010 had come after two successive years of DAX board payments being somewhat reduced.
The study showed the most generous company to its board members was Volkswagen, which paid out around €5.4 million to the 20 supervisory board members in 2010 – an increase of nearly 40 percent over the previous year.
Yet the biggest increase was seen at Lufthansa, where the supervisory board was paid 356 percent more than the previous year, at a cost of €2.7 million – although DSW expert Christiane Hölz said this was a special case and that some benefits had been absent in 2009.
The king of DAX supervisory board members remained former Bayer CEO Manfred Schneider, who is on the supervisory boards of three DAX companies – Bayer, Linde and RWE – and is the top earner with an annual wage of more than €1.1 million.
Siemens chair of the supervisory board Gerhard Cromme comes second in the earnings ranking with €915,000, according to the report.
Women are still rare on DAX supervisory boards, with just 23 women holding a total of 28 seats – out of a total of 256.