In the last few years, the executive compensation market “has really exploded again” as the Great Recession resides, says Jim Clary, CEO, Clary Executive Benefits. Growth has trickled down from Fortune’s 1,000 companies to small and mid-size employers, he adds, particularly for deferred compensation plans — “that market is growing very, very rapidly.”

This is thanks in part to the number of executives who have moved from big firms to run smaller companies in the wake of the downturn. “They bring with them an expectation that they’ll have the same type of benefit plans they enjoyed at the large company,” Clary, based in Scottsdale, Ariz., says.

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