Chief executives of companies listed on the Alternative Investment Market (AIM) saw a 10.8% in the last financial year, three times the rate of salary growth across the UK.
According to Incomes Data Services (IDS) executive compensation review, basic pay for AIM chief executives rose to £198,706.
Salaries for all other directors of AIM companies increased by 10.2% on average, while the salary increases for finance directors lagged slightly at 8.2% over the same period.
However, the review revealed the Aim all-share index fell by 60% over the same period.
Steve Tatton, of IDS told The Guardian: "The credit crunch and the economic downturn has been difficult for shareholders of Aim companies so double-digit growth in Aim chief executive salaries may come as a surprise to them.
"At a time when shareholders are getting such a poor return from their investments, they do look for remuneration committees to exercise restraint."
Although there was a rise in basic pay, chief executive bonuses did fall as companies missed targets. The median bonus dropped from £30,500 to £13,500.
But Tatton noted that basic salary plus incentives had gone up from £190,500 to £200,039, which suggests that companies are making up for lower bonuses with higher basic salaries and other perks.