The average pay for FTSE 100 chief executives rose 10% in the past year to £4.8m, according to research.
The top quarter of CEOs saw their pay jump by 41%, data company Manifest said.
Barclays boss Bob Diamond (pictured) tops the pay chart on nearly £21m - £12.6m of which was taken as a bonus and share options.
WPP chief executive Sir Martin Sorrell, who faces a possible shareholder revolt over his package at the company's annual meeting in Dublin today, is second on £11.6m.
Sarah Wilson, CEO of Manifest, said remuneration committees needed more support from shareholders in order to control management's requests for greater and greater rewards.
"Independent remuneration consultants play an important part in ensuring the non-executives get unbiased advice," she said.
"Shareholders need to have confidence that potential conflicts of interest are properly mitigated and that objectivity is not compromised by other group relationships such as audit, tax or corporate finance."
The results follow a number of high profile departures over executive pay.
AstraZeneca chief executive David Brennan was third in Manifest's list on £11.3m. He announced in April he would quit following pressure from investors.
Aviva and Trinity Mirror CEOs Andrew Moss and Sly Bailey both will both vacate their positions after failing to agree on remuneration terms.
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